I am no longer sure whether having pets is a good idea. I expect that I’ll get over it, but right now, I’m unsure.
I realised this morning as I was commuting to work, that my nerves were stretched taut. I know that we’ve been stressed since we lost Peppers last Saturday, but in some ways the initial grief is fading at least insofar as I can think about him without welling up almost immediately. It still gets me when I wander down the garden to check that the foxes haven’t got to his grave (they haven’t).
The stress and worry now, is for Moneypenny.
It’s hard to know what a cat is feeling, but it’s clear that she’s a little spooked and still baffled by the fact that her brother isn’t around. She goes outside a lot more than she used to (she hard started to go out more before he died, but it’s ramped up a lot since). We kept her in for a couple of days, but we can’t really do that forever, it wouldn’t be fair. She has also got more vocal (though they had both belatedly realised that we are more likely to react to sound than we are to distant, silent staring).
We’ve tried to keep her routine as close to the way it was before, but we have installed a cat bed in our bedroom and she is no longer confined to the kitchen at night. She can come upstairs with us if she wants company. But we get stressed when she is out of sight for any prolonged period. In recent weeks, she had taken to hiding somewhere in the house and staying there for hours. I thought I’d found that nest, but she clearly has a choice of them and I haven’t found the rest.
This morning she was clearly availing herself of one of these hidey-holes, so I didn’t see her at all between getting up and going to work. A week ago this wouldn’t have made me fret, but now it does. I don’t want (and probably couldn’t anyway) to stop her having her quiet spaces, but it does make me worry unreasonably when I don’t know where she is for an extended period of time.
The nerves have returned to normal now. I got a text telling me that she had suddenly appeared from *somewhere* upstairs about half an hour after I’d gone.
I’m sure that things will normalise over time, but for now I find myself wondering if pets are worth the stress.