I don’t even like cats. I’m highly allergic, and well, they make me sneeze. And my throat close up, and my eyes water. Give me a good dog any day of the week. All 3 of the dogs here at this house we chose. Made the conscious decision to make this their home.
But our girl. I wasn’t looking for her. Didn’t want her either. But one day In 2016 I walked onto the front porch and there she was. Curled up in my wicker chair looking at me as if I was the one out of place. I told her to shoo, get back where she came from. This isn’t a cat house.
It was apparent Shiner had other plans. They quickly became best friends. He loved her and she loved him. And well, she was cute. As far as cats go.
Now, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. And it needs to be told when I took Hermione to the vet for shots and to be fixed, her name was Neville Longbottom. I told you I know nothing about cats. I thought she was a boy.
Hermione was, well, a stone cold killer. You know when Si Robert’s said “reached right into a mans chest and pulled his heart out”? He was talking about Hermione. She loved to leave me gifts. I loved to squeal and hide in my bedroom until someone took her prey away.
Outside was her happy place. The thrill of the hunt, roaming as she pleased, and her very own weeping mulberry tree to rest in. It was her favorite spot. She loved that tree.
And how we loved her. Now, she would go roaming. For days sometimes. And in 2018, for 5 whole weeks. I walked. I called. Drove the neighborhood. Cried. Then cried again. Resigned myself to the fact she was gone.
My husband is a Narcotics Captain, so let’s just say he works late nights a lot. So the night he came in and woke me whispering “come here, hurry” I had no idea what he wanted. He’s standing there grinning like a possum so I knew whatever it was, it wasn’t bad.
And there, in my garage, was Hermione. All fluffy and clean and looking like she had just come from a day spa. If I’m a betting woman, she had been in someone’s house those 5 weeks. But when given the chance, she came home. I had to take 2 Benadryl later and take a shower at 1 AM, but that death squeeze I had her in was worth it. Hermione was home.
And so, each day as I came home I sang, “Hermione Grainger, don’t be a stranger”….and “Hey, Hey Hermione” to that tune of the old Monkees theme song.
I stepped up my game in order to keep her here. I got a backscratcher to pet her with (remember the allergy) and lots of times had to give in and give her a good belly rub and run in and wash my hands. Aunt Chanda brought her a heat lamp and we set her up a sweet deal in the garage. She wasn’t going anywhere.
We lost Hermione Thursday. It wasn’t a pretty death, and I’ve struggled with that. We buried her next to Junior, in what is quickly becoming a row of the best dang animals ever. I can look out my bedroom window and check on them from time to time.
My best friend (the cat person of this friendship) said this yesterday:
“She was outside doing what she wanted, living her best cat life. If she had to go, she would have wanted to go being outside doing what she loved then to have been cooped up in a house and lived forever”. Now I really can’t talk about it anymore but she had a great “cat life” Kim. And yes it sucks so bad right now. And she will be missed so much. She was a great cat! I loved her.”
Yes, I will feel better. Not today. But soon. But a piece of my heart is gone, only to be made whole one day when I see her again. I know cats go to Heaven. Dogs have to have something to chase.
Hermione Grainger, don’t be a stranger. We miss you terribly. We’ll love you forever. As long as we’re living, our beautiful girl you’ll be.