I had moved from the north to the south in 2004. For some reason, I was thinking of this move today.The van on loan from my home church resembled Noah’s Ark. Literally. Wally my plecto (big 16 inch ugly fish) and Bruce (14 inch shark) traveled in watery totes with battery-powered air supply. Their large aquarium was nestled safely among my few belongings.
I had three cats–Sebastian, Kirbie Leigh and Pepper-who were all too advanced in age to be left behind. Sebastian and Kirbie had been with me long before my failed marriage had started. They were to be with me to the bitter end. I had a rescue rabbit–Jade–riding in his big bunny cage, munching hay. Taz, my blue and gold Macaw rode shotgun on the back of my passenger seat. Sharing hip space between the front seats were my last two remaining collies, Kip and Riley James. On the dashboard, looking like a stuffed bubble head toy was my Papillion, Scrapper. The only one missing was my horse. He was being cared for by someone and I would return for him in a few weeks.
I had managed to fit a few suitcases and boxes in for my stuff, but most the van space was indeed devoted to the pets and their stuff. It was much like traveling with a baby or toddler, nine times over. For about 850 miles. I am glad to say they all handled it very well. I do recall Taz got a little bored around southern Ohio so he and Pepper swapped places for a few a short while. And the last few miles to our new home the collies started growling and snapping at one another but they were tired and hungry and cramped so I understood.
So we all survived the journey, we settled in and blossomed where we were now planted in our new home, new region, new everything. And it occurred to me today that ten years have gone by since that time. Wally and Bruce– the fish I could not bear to part with–both died within a few years of fishy infections. I lost Sebastian and Kirbie Leigh within the first year, a scant thirteen days apart. Kip and Riley James were both passed on by 2010. Scrapper was let go just this year at the age of 17. Jade the bunny died within a couple years. Even my horse had to go on.
Of the original Noah’s Ark, only Taz and Pepper remain. Taz is 21 and Pepper is 18. The clock has started on Pepper’s countdown. Taz is expected to hopefully outlive me and everyone reading this post. Maybe in 50 to 80 years, someone will read my journals and these blog entries and marvel at his travels.
So today I was taking a break, and I happened to realize who was chilling with me–Whymzie, Kryshnah and Muldoone. Just so happened it was these three. These are the three kitties I adopted shortly after moving to the south. Two were kittens and one was around a year old. And now all are ‘young’ seniors themselves. That was a scary revelation today. And finally there is the newest members of my group–Aspen who is about a year and her baby, Avery Faith, who is roughly 5 months old.
I see a cycle and I see time marching on. I do have new sharks, Zechariah and Malachi. They are still young, neither one not quite reaching a foot long yet. No dogs and no bunnies and no horses any more. The desire is certainly there, the time is not right. So I heed to the practicality of time over heart.
Time is such an odd and abstract creature. Unshakable, unchangeable, uncontrollable. It only marches onward, but our memories can take us backward. Today I think of my personal little Ark, full of pets who I wanted to have with me to begin a new life together. Isn’t it odd how choices and time often travel together?