One of the thousands of casualties of the earthquake was our kitten Lulu. While it may seem insignificant compared to the human suffering that is occurring now in Haiti, Lulu was a source of solace for Jillian before I moved down, and our first pet.
She was an amazing kitten, only 5 months old, she loved to snuggle and love you, but then moments later playfully attack your leg and leave scratch marks that would remain for days. She loved to sleep on Jillian’s laptop, and head butt you if you weren’t giving her any attention. She loved playing with ping pong balls and pen caps, but most of all she loved to sleep in the craziest positions (and always on my side of the bed)…
On Flickr this picture was uploaded as “Day 1” just before I left to travel north before the quake. It was supposed to be the first of years of pictures that we took of our little Princess Petunia sleeping (as I called her and Jillian hated it). Jillian had even taken dozens of pictures of her sleeping in weird positions before I moved down which were slated to be a blog post when I got back from my trip. That camera was lost with everything else.
Every time I would talk to Jillian on the phone before I moved down to Haiti Jillian would always ask, “Guess what Lulu’s doing?” and the answer was ALWAYS, “She’s sleeping!” Even though I only knew her for about a week total, I miss her so much. I don’t know what it is, I have never had such a connection with an animal. Maybe it’s because she meant so much to Jillian, but I am crying while I write this.
After we got Jillian and Chuck out of the rubble, Jillian asked me to look for her. She had heard her crying and digging while they were trapped. I wanted so badly to find her for Jillian, to be able to hand Lulu to her and say everything was OK. It would prove that there was hope, that there was life. I made the kissing noise that she would come to all around the rubble of the house hoping to hear something, a meow, anything. But there was nothing. I walked back to Jillian and she looked at me with hope, “Did you find her?!” and I had to tell her “no”. It was heartbreaking on so many levels.
But maybe this will help me to understand a little of what Jillian is going through. I was able to connect to Lulu through Jillian even when I wasn’t there. I understand that lost, it rips me apart in ways I can’t explain. But for Jillian, she had connections with so much more than just this one cat. It was with the country, with it’s people, a connection I had yet to truly make.
I can’t imagine the sorrow that pulses through Jillian during this time, it must be so hard for her. I wish that I could understand it, but at the same time it might be a blessing that I can support her through it. The detachment can help in that way. If we were both messes it would be hard for us to use each other to make it through. Maybe?
The loss of Lulu will resonate for a long time, even for the visitors to the mission house that she would terrorized with random attacks to the legs. And now we know that she is doing the thing that she loved the very most…she’s sleeping. I miss you Lulu.