Nightime is the hardest, when the husband is traveling. Bruno was my entertainment, kept me warm, gave me a feeling of protection, made me think of something and nothing at the same time, reminded me that somewhere in the world there were less fortunate cats and humans, and that I needed to be grateful for my blessings. He was pretty much everything to me, really—a child, a friend, a companion, a dinner partner, a constant presence that swept light into the dark corners of my life and soul. His death is haunting.
I recently saw The Golden Compass, where humans were bonded with their "demons", which manifested themselves in the form of an animal who was never away from their human (except for witches). Bruno would certainly be my "demon", or the free will it symbolized in the movie. The protection I felt with him was akin to that believed in by the Egyptians, that cats were the guardians of life. I feel the loss of his alert and watchful eye, his protectiveness, and also his faith that I would protect him. (Still feeling the failure there.)
Before his death, I was full of "the Christmas Spirit", wishing it was something that we all carried all year long. That feeling vaporized with his death, my sadness and loneliness snuffing out every motivation in my path. I'm trying to quell my grief with activity, but then nighttime comes, and I recall Bruno going out to sit on the front porch. I now wonder if, like old men on front porch rocking chairs, he tried to warn me and I was blind, so he simply waited it out. I see his silhouette in the darkness, and wonder why that image haunts me so. Perhaps subconsciously I can relate. I'm just waiting too.
My parents say Bruno could no longer take the stress of moving, and neither could I. His love couldn't overcome the stress, and perhaps that's where I've been the past few years. So many lessons, and still counting. I think a mini-biography is coming, but that will take time. He's been with me for almost a third of my life, and his death has affected me much more than others I've experienced. I know this has to do with my own impending mortality, and refocuses me on not just spending time with loved ones, but spending that time the best way possible. This could be just hanging out, but it could also mean talking about things previously off-limits, setting the record straight, getting stuff off everyone's chest about the past. Or not. Maybe these things are all petty and ridiculous now, not worth the thought, or better, totally worth forgiveness. Which is pretty much where I am.
I feel a deep emptiness. One wonders how this is possible, but my love for Bruno had already matured by the time I met my husband. No man was a match for Bruno, at the time. Lucky for the husband, Bruno approved. Lucky for me that the husband accepted the set, because we came as a non-negotiable set. And that's how important Bruno is to me, that I would choose him over a man. Stranger than fiction, I know.
Anyway, life goes on. Perhaps I'll rest easier once I receive his ashes. Maybe I'll feel less lonely, knowing there's something of him in the house.