Friday, August 9, 2013

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Penny.

I'm not a cat person. Or at least I thought I wasn't. 
And then a little kitten entered my life here in Tonga and showed me that maybe I should be a little bit more open to other animals besides just dogs. I loved Penny right away because she was such a sass. It didn't matter how many times I sprayed her with a water bottle or pushed her away with my foot - all she wanted to do was play... and love on me. When I'd return from town and unlock my front door she would jump out and start meowing at me right away, welcoming me home. And last night when I opened my door she wasn't there. Recently she's learned that there are other exits out of my house - a couple windows with loose screens give her a clear getaway. My students know to put her back in the window once they are finished playing with her. Since I'd been gone all day, I figured maybe she went home with one of them and that is what she wasn't around.
I woke up this morning and skyped with my mom.
The front door was open.
And during our conversation one of the little boys in my Class 5 jumped the fence and got my attention through the front door.
"I fe Penny?" (Where is Penny?) I said.
"Manatee, Peni 'osi mate." (Mandy, Penny died.)
I was confused. 
The little boy continued, "U'u 'a kuli" (A dog bit her.)
Then the boy disappeared.
I translated the conversation for my mom over skype. I couldn't believe it.
Then the boy returned.
This time he was holding Penny's body. 
And I went numb. I played it off like I was sad but fine (non-emotional) and in the moment I guess I was. I didn't want to let myself feel. I had a full day of fun activities planned, a friend staying over, my mom watching me on skype... there was no time to be sad.
And now I'm alone and I'm sad. I know death is a part of life and I probably shouldn't have gotten a pet in a place like Tonga because nature can be a little ruthless sometimes, but man.... this stinks. Part of me is glad I wasn't there to see what happened. I guess a dog came in the gate during lunch time while the students were playing and got her.  I think we'll have a mini putu (funeral) for her on Monday and bury her in the garden.
Even though I only got to spend a little over two weeks with Penny, we became best buds. I'll miss her sneaking into my bedroom and falling asleep in my clothes, pouncing on crickets and playing with my feet until I picked her up and snuggled with her. I'll miss her crawling up my back and sitting on my shoulder while I wrote my blog posts. I'll miss her falling asleep in my lap. I'll miss when all the hair would stick up on her back and she would hop sideways at me thinking that she was being all stealthy.
I'm going to miss her a lot.

Have you ever lost a pet?

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry Mandy! As you know we aren't (weren't) cat people either until Megan tricked us into getting a kitten...17 years later, we were devastated when "Po kitten" died. It certainly does leave a kitty sized hole in your heart--thinking of you!
    Mary Lewitzke