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socks and cats and grief

I recently finished the first of yet another pair of DRK Everyday socks, this time in Gauge Dyeworks “Whiskey in a Teacup” (why yes, I did literally get the exact colorway that’s featured in one of the pattern photos; I thought stripes would be fun and those colors are just really nice!)

Self-Striping Yarn got me.

Well, I say I finished it, but if you look up close, the self-striping yarn got me at the end, and I ended up with a bind-off that is two different colors. I left the tail long, because I’m pretty sure I want to rip the bind-off out and rip back one round before binding off again, so that my bind-off matches the top stripe. We’ll see when I get around to that, though, because I also was prompted by my daughter to cast on for the sibling to Sleepy Kitten, so that’s what I focused on this weekend.

Sleepy Kitty in Progress

The current stage of the knitting utterly cracks me up, and makes me think of the Dr. Seuss story about the Pale Green Pants with Nobody Inside Them. Just legs and tail and cat butt, here. I’ll take my giggles wherever I can get them right now, because things have been pretty rough.

lovely nina
How I’ll remember her: somehow both grumpy and adorable all at once.

The request for Sleepy Kitten’s sister came after an utterly heartbreaking loss last week; our cat Nina, who had been unwell for quite some time, and whose recently-diagnosed diabetes we’ve been trying to figure out how to manage, was noticeably “off” on Wednesday morning, and by Wednesday evening, she was gone. It turned out that she was experiencing organ failure and sepsis, and it just shatters me, because she seemed the usual level of “unwell, but still basically fine” on Tuesday night…we had no warning. Our daughter noticed that Nina seemed “off” on Wednesday morning, and she spent the morning petting her while my spouse and I tried to figure out how to get Nina to the vet, the kiddo to camp, and me to campus to teach with a single car. I’m really glad she was able to give Nina those last moments, even though none of us knew they’d be her last ones.

big eyes!
Those gorgeous golden eyes!

When we got the call from the emergency vet that things were going downhill fast, I stayed home with my daughter while my spouse went to be with Nina (he didn’t get there in time, though; she had already passed). It was so heart-shattering to parent my kid through the most devastating loss she’s ever experienced. She loves our cats so intensely, and Nina was the first of them to really connect with her, to play with her, to sit on her lap. It is so hard to believe that Nina is gone, that we only have two cats now, both of whom are even more elderly than Nina was and dealing with health issues of their own. This season of cat caretaking is just so hard.

my girls.
She’s loved Nina from the beginning

I’m so grateful, though, to the community I have in my UU church. I’d let our RE director know that M was grieving the loss of our cat, because I knew they sometimes talk about “joys and sorrows” at the children’s service, and I also know that my kid tends to go non-verbal when she’s really upset and overwhelmed, so I wanted to make sure the director had context for whatever came up. She greeted us when we arrived yesterday with a bag containing a sweet card and three children’s books about understanding death and coping with loss. And then another child at the service took mine under their arm and looked out for her through the rest of the children’s service, and was still doing so when I came to pick my daughter up. What amazing, loving, supporting and well-supported children we are raising in this community!

As I was writing this post, we got a card from the emergency vet with Nina’s pawprints, and the tears are back. We miss you so much, you gorgeously golden-eyed, goofy, grumpy, sweet snuggly thing.

nina peeks out
Goodbye, beloved Nina.
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