We got a kitten today, a white scrap of indiscriminate energy who got dubbed Taz (think Warner Brothers) before we left the animal shelter. He has a Mohawk-style toupee perched between his ears, and his ability to rassle with our seventy-pound mutt is what earned him his permanent vacation in our home.
The kids ask if I love him yet. Do I? I don't know--but I will. I know I will.
Right now, though, I am still mourning our black cat with the debonair little white beard who went missing over a week ago. The new kitten's presence is because George needs a companion, and the past couple of hours are proof that the four-legged set are thrilled with the new arrangement. But I have to admit, that's not the only reason we got Taz. There's a bit of magical thinking on my part, the idea that by taking on the hassle of another life, taking on the expense and work will somehow secure the return of the cat that I do indeed love, and miss far more than I probably let on.
It's hard to let go, especially when there is still hope. Since Gomez slipped through the dog door ten days ago, failing to return as he always had before, numerous people have shared their stories of lost cats returning a week, a month, even years later. I haven't given up on him.
I feel sort of the same way about the manuscripts I worked over and loved, worked and reworked and queried and sent fulls and then never saw fly. I haven't given up, not really, not hope. Once in a while I'll see an interview with an agent I'd not heard of before, who seems like a good match for my manuscript. Off the query will go, perhaps even getting one of those requests so like a casual "I think I might have seen your cat" comment--but so far, no dice. Nice rejections, finally, and the admission that this cat didn't have any white on him after all. Or was orange. "But maybe it was him." No, it was not him. But that does not mean he is not still out there, hiding or lost or chowing down inside another house, having lost his collar and just awaiting the opportunity of a carelessly open door to slip out again and come home to his true family, where he belongs.