I’ve been reunited with our sweet kitty Sally 🙂

If you recall, there were just two things that stopped our move across the country from being the smoothest move ever:

  1. Our house didn’t sell instantly, like we knew it probably wouldn’t, but it would have made everything easier.
  2. The rental house provided by Jeff’s new job allows for just 1 pet only.

My amazing, thoughtful, lovely sister Julie agreed to keep Sally in Ontario until we could get everything sorted out up here and find a way for Sally to join her family. Leaving her was really hard. She’s a member of our family. How could I just leave her behind? It has me tearing up now just thinking about it.

I visited Sally and Julie at Thanksgiving. Sally was doing fine. She didn’t seem to even know me anymore.

In January Monty died. So suddenly. I haven’t talked about it much because I tried to be the tough person and I tried to skip grieving. I did the grieving thing before for my first two goldens. I had no desire to do it all again. I had every trace of Monty put away, hidden, packed, or donated within a day or two. Eventually that grief found other ways to come out and I had a miserable few months with heart palpitations and anxiety and some sort of self-punishing attitude towards work, pushing myself too hard. It was a rough few months but I’ve worked through it.

(Imagine if we had left Monty with someone instead of Sally? That would have been horrible.)

Julie loves Sally and they were doing so well together. I could have flown to get her in January after Monty died and I couldn’t do it. I’ve always felt like my little sister was mine to protect. How could she finally have her first pet, and I’m going to fly in, rip Sally from her life, and leave her to grieve the loss of Sally instead? How could I do that to her? Maybe Sally should just stay. I’d rather be sad than her.

Julie and the rest of my family convinced me that Sally was mine, and it was okay for Julie to be sad. I decided to wait to pick her up until the last week of Julie’s school year (she’s a teacher) so she’d be busy with summer stuff and maybe not miss a cat or all of her hair on the furniture and carpet. I don’t know if that actually worked or not, but that’s what I did.

Sally seemed a bit more like she recognized me this time, and trusted me. She was a feral kitten who I trapped 8 years ago and brought inside with her brother. She was introduced to the life of an indoor cat a little late to be totally tame. She wouldn’t hurt a fly, she’s the sweetest, gentlest cat, but she has spent a lot of her life hiding behind couches or under beds.

I got her a Sherpa bag for travel, so she could go under the seat in front of me on the plane. She travelled with us in our truck from Nova Scotia to Ontario and didn’t get sick, so I was pretty confident she’d do okay on the plane, but I was the most worried about going through security where you have to take your pet out of the bag so the bag would be x-rayed. What if she bolted and was loose in the Toronto airport?

She did fine though! She just let me hold her tight and got right back into her bag. She meowed whenever I moved the bag, but once it was still under the seat, or on the floor on the airplane, she was quiet. She did meow most of the way to the airport in the car though! We change planes in Vancouver with just a couple minutes to spare, but she seemed to be doing ok!

I kept all water and food away from her during the day so there would be no accidents. I was worried about dehydration but I don’t think she was likely to drink during the travel anyway. When Jeff picked us up on Whitehorse, we tried to give her a litter box, food, and water in the truck, but she wanted to hide under my seat instead.

After a couple hours under my seat she was ready for treats. I pulled her out, snuggled a bit, and put her back into her travel bag where it is safer. (Our drive home from Whitehorse is 5-6 hours.)

I really expected she would hide for days. But once we got home she really came alive. She hasn’t hidden at all! She clearly remembers us well. I suppose everything in the house is familiar, just a different house. I felt a bit like she was looking for Monty the first night, as I’m sure his smell is still around (since I still find Monty hairs!). If anything, she is tamer than she ever was, and I’m sure Julie is to thank for this. Now she flops on her side on the carpet and lets you brush her all over, just like my dog Winger used to. She doesn’t care for her ball toys at all anymore, but she likes the feathers on a pole toy, and goes crazy chasing the red laser toy, just like she always did. She even seems to come when she is called now! Although with the midnight sun, I don’t thinks she has any clue when supper time is supposed to be and she thinks it is anytime I open the fridge 🙂

It really feels good to have her back. I was petless since January. Now I have something to care for again, to pick up, to pet (Jeff gets annoyed quickly when I pet him, he was a poor pet substitute), and to love on. I’m taking quick breaks at work, just to hang out with my cat. It is a little weird, almost like she came back from the dead, and I wish all my other pets would show up a year later too, but I’m feeling more whole again and so grateful that I have the best sister in the world. I have no idea how to repay the favour. A kidney? My liver? How do I thank Julie for helping us make this move to the Yukon possible?

I’ve been taking nothing but Sally pics with my phone. Here are a few for you: