cat paws in shallow focus photography

Photo by Monica Silvestre on Pexels.com

I’m not going to sugar-coat it for you. When I decided I would keep Luna…

Ok, I have to admit that it would have been very, very hard to let her go. I didn’t want to. But I already had Simba, and I had been told I could have him, but no more…

So, when I finally knew I could keep Luna with me, I wondered if I would ever be able to love her as much as I love Simba. (Everyone who knows me would tell you that I love him too much – as if “loving too much” was a bad thing!) I felt bad at the idea that I would be able to love her as much as I love him, guilty almost, and I felt bad at the idea that I wouldn’t be able to love her as much as I love him… and it made me feel guilty too. I know, it sounds crazy. The fact of the matter is… I already loved her. But part of me was afraid to love her so.

Let me explain. She’s always been special. My heart broke each time I saw her walking. I knew she would need extra care. I knew I would have to make sure that she never hurt her “bad” paw or it could get infected and she could die… or they would have to amputate her before she was one year old. And I didn’t want that – I still so much believed that she would be one of the few lucky ones and her nerve would start doing its job again and she would be able to walk like any normal cat.

Yes, part of me was afraid to love her because she was different. Because every time I looked at her, I hurt inside. Because every time I looked at her I was afraid I would discover she had mangled her own paw. Yes, I was guilty of reading too many forum posts and other articles on the Internet. I wanted to find reassurance… and only found out about how most of the cats had ended up mangling their own leg because they couldn’t feel it anymore and they didn’t feel like it belonged to them any longer. I needed solace… I added to my nightmares. So the day I found her gnawing on one claw and pulling on it with her teeth, I was overcome by a feeling of despair. How was I to keep her safe when she was her own worst enemy? I cleaned her claw and tried to put a tiny sock on Luna’s paw to protect it, but of course, she took it off quickly. And I despaired. In my mind I could see her biting, drawing blood, tasting it, wanting more… I could see myself opening the door to a bloodbath…

Er… ok, the word “bath” might be a bit too strong seeing that she was about two months old. How much blood is there in such a tiny body? But I’m sure you understand how I felt back then – hopeless, and useless. I couldn’t do anything – to help her get her paw back, to help her stay “whole”.

So, yeah, I was afraid to love her because I didn’t want to hurt even more than I already did every time I looked at her, watched her walk or play, wondered if she would ever mangle her own paw.

And I was afraid that hurt would keep me from loving her as much as I could have – which wasn’t fair.

But then again, I worry too much. My far too vivid imagination keeps playing tricks on me.


Je ne vais pas vous mentir. Quand j’ai décidé de garder Luna…

D’accord, j’admets que ç’aurait été très, très dur de la laisser partir. Je n’en avais pas envie. Mais j’avais déjà Simba, et je n’étais pas censée avoir d’autres chats…

Donc, quand j’ai su que je pouvais garder Luna, je me suis demandée si je serais jamais capable de l’aimer autant que Simba. (Tous ceux qui me connaissent vous diront que j’aime beaucoup trop ce chat – comme si “aimer trop” était mal!) J’étais mal à l’idée que je pourrais l’aimer autant que lui, je me sentais presque coupable, et j’étais mal à l’idée que je serais incapable de l’aimer autant que lui… et je me sentais coupable de ça aussi. Je sais, c’est dingue. Le fait est que… je l’aimais déjà, ma fofolle. Mais une partie de moi avait peur de l’aimer.

Laissez-moi vous expliquer… Elle a toujours été spéciale. Mon coeur se brisait chaque fois que je la regardais marcher. Je savais qu’elle aurait besoin de beaucoup d’attention. Je savais que je devrais m’assurer qu’elle ne blesse jamais sa patte “folle” ou cela risquait de s’infecter et elle pourrait en mourir… ou bien il faudrait l’amputer avant son premier anniversaire. Et je ne voulais pas que ça arrive – je croyais tellement fort qu’elle ferait partie des chanceux et que son nerf repousserait et recommencerait à jouer son rôle, qu’elle serait capable de marcher comme n’importe quel autre chat.

Oui, une partie de moi avait peur de l’aimer parce qu’elle était différente. Parce que chaque fois que je la regardais, ça me faisait mal. Parce que chaque fois que je la regardais, je craignais de découvrir qu’elle s’était mutilé la patte. Oui, je plaide coupable, j’avais été sur trop de forums et lu trop d’articles sur divers sites Internet. J’avais voulu me rassurer… et j’avais découvert l’horreur de tous ces chats qui s’étaient mutilés eux-mêmes parce qu’ils ne sentaient plus leur membre et n’avaient donc plus conscience qu’il leur appartenait. J’avais besoin de réconfort… au lieu de ça, j’avais alimenté mon usine à cauchemars. Alors le jour où j’ai trouvé Luna en train de mordiller l’une de ses griffes, j’ai été submergée par le désespoir. Comment étais-je censée la protéger quand elle était sa pire ennemie? J’ai nettoyé sa griffe et essayé de lui faire porter une mini-chaussette, mais bien sûr elle l’a rapidement enlevée. Et j’ai désespéré. Dans ma tête, je la voyais se mordre, faire couler son sang, le goûter et en vouloir toujours plus… je me voyais ouvrir la porte et découvrir un bain de sang…

Euh… ok, le mot “bain” est peut-être mal choisi étant donné qu’elle n’avait que deux mois. Combien de sang contient le corps d’un chaton de cet âge? Mais je suis sûre que vous comprenez comment je me sentais alors – désespérée, et inutile. Je ne pouvais rien faire – pour l’aider à avoir une patte normale, pour l’aider à rester “entière”.

Alors, oui, j’avais peur de l’aimer parce que je ne voulais pas souffrir encore plus que je souffrais chaque fois que je la regardais, que je la voyais marcher ou jouer, que je me demandais si elle se rongerait elle-même la patte…

Et j’avais peur que cette soufrance m’empêche de l’aimer autant que je l’aurais pu – ce qui aurait été terriblement injuste.

Mais je m’inquiète trop. Mon imagination bien trop active me joue des tours.

© AnneT

2 thoughts on “Damaged

  1. It’s almost hard to remember those days, Anne, when Luna’s future was such an uncertain question mark. Especially when she is such an active, almost care-free spirit that she is today. (SMILE)

    Liked by 1 person

    • There will always be something like a sword of Damocles hanging over her head… Of course, she’s not aware of that – but I am. The fear is still there, not as much on the foreground as it was before, but it’s still there. (Of course, I’m not talking about the fear of not being able to love Luna – I love her as much as I love Simba.) I guess I wouldn’t worry so much if she wasn’t such an “active, almost carefree spirit”… but oh well.

      Liked by 1 person

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