And Then There Were Two

I didn’t expect to write a post like this so soon. Two months after losing Romeo, our little Bippy cat left us. This nearly 4-year-old cat was born on the side of our house and was a character all his own. I am devastated he is gone.

Bipp was the sweetest and most loving cat. He would cuddle on my lap while watching TV and sleep on top of my printer when I worked. He would so patiently let Sophie drag him around the house and never once protested. In many ways, he was a lot like Romeo. He also had a big personality and could be found resting in boxes, Sophie’s doll cradle, open Trader Joe’s bags, and in the booster seat in the car. He was also very vocal for a cat. I’m pretty sure he thought he was talking with us most of the time.

But Bipp had a wanderlust side that made him leave the backyard and had a tendency to cross the street right in front of our house. That danger, coupled with ridiculously fast drivers on our residential street, led to poor Bipp’s demise.

Bipp disappeared one day a few weeks ago and obviously didn’t come home. It wasn’t until after Sophie and I left flyers in our neighbors’ mailboxes four days later that two kind neighbors told us what happened to him (they actually saw the act and the driver who didn’t even stop). I am very grateful for our neighbors who cared enough to let us know about Bipp, and also for them making sure his remains were taken care of. It would have been unimaginable for Sophie and me to return home and see him there. As hard as it is to imagine, I am also very glad he didn’t suffer.

I’ve come to learn he had quite a little life outside our house. The neighbor across the street called Bipp a great cat, and he welcomed him into his yard because he solved their years-old rat problem. This man, a practicing Buddhist, told us that Bipp had good karma and “nothing is forever.” Another neighbor mentioned how her elderly parents loved it when he came into their yard and were asking why the cat doesn’t visit anymore. It makes me smile to know that Bipp had become a neighborhood fixture.

Losing Romeo was very sad, but the loss of Bipp really hit me hard. Perhaps it was so close in time to Romeo’s death that it brought back all the sorrow. Even though we still have Casey and Tess, the house feels so lonely without the two boys. I have an empty feeling inside that wasn’t there before. It was heartbreaking seeing Tess (his mama cat) stare out every window all day long, and check his usual spots in the house for him. I know she misses him too.

When Sophie asked why Bipp had to die, I suggested to her that maybe Romeo was lonely and needed a friend (Bipp could often be found snuggling next to Romeo). Of course I have no way of knowing if that’s true. But it makes me feel better thinking that may be the case.

There’s a spot at the end of our upstairs hallway near Sophie’s room and my office where Romeo used to sleep. The once-white wall is now a darker shade (from where Romeo’s body pressed against it), which I will probably never paint. When Romeo died, Bipp started sleeping against the wall in that very spot. And now that he is gone, I often find Tess resting there. I’ve never been one to believe in ghosts or supernatural things. But I do think this is a sacred spot, and I like to believe they are all relaxing there together.

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