The latest tutorial/progress report for my World's Biggest Stocking work will be delayed. I'm having some difficulty putting the final touches on it. I'm a mess. I'm a wreck. And I just can't concentrate on crochet right now. Memorial Day is already hard for me because it's the anniversary of my good friend Don's death. And now, it's the anniversary of another death:
Her name was Corneluis Peanutbutterus, aka Peanut Butter and Nelly, aka Nelly Peanut Butter, aka Peanut Butter and Jelly, aka Nelly Belly, aka Smelly Jelly, aka Sideways.
When I found her, or rather, when she found me, she was a half-drowned kitten that wouldn't stop howling outside in a thunderstorm. I bundled up, braved the lightning, and ran out to get her, even though we already had two house cats, and I wasn't looking for another. The plan was to find her a home, but she had already found hers here.
I dried her off and fed her, and she never left. She grew to tolerate the dog, and she fell in love with Bites, who has been gone now for almost two years. I think it broke her heart a little when we lost him, and now she's broken mine.
Her favorite game was fetch. Yes, fetch, like a dog. For each time you would throw her little ring of bread tie twists or pipe cleaners, she would bring it back and drop it (almost) at your feet with a howl. And you were expected to throw it again, every time, until she got tired.
She was an inside cat, but escaped one day. And that was the day that someone in my neighborhood thought it would be fun to throw antifreeze-infused hot dogs over my fence as a treat for my pets. They killed five of the dozen wild cats I feed, plus Bites. She's the only one that got into it and survived the poisoning. After the first day in a coma, we all thought she wouldn't make it. But with severe neurological damage, and plenty of other problems, too, she pulled through.
The brain damage left her walking sideways and often falling over. She became an inside-only cat again, being only a shell of her former self. But she was still my Smelly Jelly with a Belly Full of Jelly.
She made a few appearances here on the blog, such as her most recent and last cameo in one of the final posts for the Big Granny Square Blanket. Although you can only see bits of her in photo bombs, she still made her presence known. And what you didn't see is how she has been by my side (or in my lap) for every project here on the blog.
And now, she will forever be in my heart. She got out again, and I found her in my driveway last night. She had no obvious injuries, but was too weak to walk after only one day out of the house. I have no idea what happened to her. Before we could get her to a vet, she looked into my eyes and she died in my arms.
As much as it breaks my heart, I wasn't able to take her in to find out what happened. If it was to keep her alive, I would have spent my last dime. But now that it's too late, I just can't spend the $500 the vet wanted for an autopsy. I placed her in a box with her favorite toys and her favorite treats, buried her in my backyard well after dark, and cried the rest of the night. It must either say something about me or Nelly, because I've cried more over the death of this cat than I've ever cried over the passing of a human.
So again, my apologies. The next post is in the making and will be up, sometime... I'm just finding it hard to concentrate without my Sideways sidekick interrupting my work. You had no idea what a big part of the blog she was, behind the scenes. And I swear I can still hear her meowing...