Friday, April 27, 2012

The Most Difficult Story to Tell

Dear Loyal Readers,

Ugh! I have been dreading writing this letter and, as I type, I am crying so hard I can barely breathe.

In December, I entered rehab for alcoholism. The difficulty that led to the decision to get help was very difficult to digest. My life was out of control; I needed to get it back.

When I left, my parents took Kukka-Maria and Brach. They tried to find someone who could take care of them until April, when I returned. While they tried so hard, they were unable to find anyone who was in a position to care for them. It was a difficult decision for them, but they took them to a no-kill shelter that placed them up for adoption.

When they told me, I broke down. I had both of them since they were kittens. The thought of living without them was unbearable. Through my struggle with alcohol, my family and friends created distance. Kukka and Brach never did. At times, it seemed as though they were my only friends. Their unconditional love was immeasurable.

I am hyperventilating. Writing this is harder than I imagined, as I know you love them, as well.

I understood I was not in a position to care for them. Through my addiction, I had become a monster that valued alcohol over anything else.

About 3 weeks ago, I was shopping and walked by a pet store who was hosting a cat adoption event. I walked past, resisting the urge to go in. I returned, realizing that seeing cats would be a huge part of my recovery. I noticed there were more adult cats than kittens. As I walked past the cages, I began to cry. The woman hosting the event approached me, asking what was wrong. I explained the story and my grief. I told her how they are 12 and 11 years old and how I was worried they wouldn't be adopted at that age, since they were no longer cute, fluffy, tiny kittens.

Another woman, who also worked for the adoption agency, came over and said, "I was eavesdropping and heard your story. Were your cats dark gray/black striped with white and tan colored with white?" I  told her they were and she went on to tell me she fostered Kukka and Brach. They were adopted--together--by a family with kids.

I cried even harder. My heart believed her, but my head thought she was just telling me this to calm me down and send me away at peace. I thought about it after leaving the store and realized I hadn't told her what my cats looked like. SHE told ME.

I choose to believe her story. It is my hope they are bringing the new family joy. If they love their new family half how they loved me, that family is more fortunate then they can imagine.

Here is what I will miss the most about Exiled Empress Kukka-Maria:
  • Her meow, pleading for treats, sounded like "Mom? Mom? Mom?"
  • She would sleep in my "kneepits" at night and how, when wanting to turn over, I would contort my body so not to wake her.
  • She would subtly bully Brach when he was sleeping. She would bathe his ears and face, his eyes, closing with ecstasy, then she would bite the back of his neck until he moved. She would then look at me while sinking down for a his warm sleeping spot.
  • Her pretty pink nose and paw-pads.

Here is what I will miss most about Brach O'Lee:

  • His saggy belly would swing to and fro while running toward the kitchen for treats.
  • He was obsessed with eating plants and flowers...whether alive or silk.
  • He would play fetch with a hair band. I would sit on my bed and toss it into the hallway. He would scramble out the door, grab it, flop on his side while kicking at it with his hind legs, and then bring it back for a second round.
  • His soft white belly and caramel-colored eyes.

Please read the various stories in the archive. I will post links to some of my favorites in the next couple of days. Do you have a favorite?

Thank you for all the years of support and admiration for two beautiful beings I was so fortunate to share with you.

If only they knew all the crazy stories I wrote in their names...

With tears and appreciation,
Courtney Macha, The Agent


Angel Simba said...

Oh, COurtney, we are so very very sorry for your pain. You have to believe the woman;s story about Kukka and Brach being adopted. Your blog was our very v try first blog ever read, and our introduction to cat blogging. We LOVED everything you wrote. Please keep the archives up and we will definitely go back and read the stories.

We wish you the very very very best in your recovery.

Simba, Audrey and Mom

Gemini and Ichiro said...

We are so sorry to hear about your struggles. I expect that as a volunteer shelter worker, a bonded pair (not matter what Kukka Maria would have said) and adopted together would have stuck in their minds.

I'm trying to remember favorites of mine about Kukka-Maria--she was always the cat that I thought of that started it all. How could I pick a favorite? Any time she was arguing with Oprah were times we remembered best. And of course hr snarky comments on the other blogs.

Our thoughts to you Courtney as you go about rebuilding your life. It is a tough path to have to follow and we are sorry you must go it without your two best friends. We are, however, proud that you were able to stand up and share what happened with all of us and that you made a decision to go into rehab- Our best and we are still here over at Chey's Place, although the names have been changed because of all the innocent she has to protect.

Angel Simba said...

Here is one of our favorites:

Anonymous said...

Have strength. I can't even imagine what you are going through, but somehow, you'll make it. I don't even know what to say. I'm thinking of you and your babies, knowing they are out there somewhere sharing their love and feistiness with someone new.

Ikaika said...

Oh, bless you Courtney, I had no idea ... I am so sorry that you no longer have Kukka and Brach with you, but you did your very best for both of them but had to do what you needed to make yourself whole again. I have often gone to the archives on the blog to read and re-read the musings of Kukka, and thank you for sharing them and yourself with all of us. And Courtney, listen to your heart ...

Best wishes and blessings,

'Kaika's mom

Barb said...

Alcoholism is an insidious disease that has destroyed many lives. I applaud your courage in seeking help for yourself. Each day will be difficult but not insurmountable. I have friends and family members who have been sober for 25, 30 and more years. One day at a time.

As a teenager I attended Al-Anon for for the education and support it offered, hoping it would help me to understand and cope with the Alcoholism in my own family.

I am so sorry your path to sobriety and health has cost you you beloved cats. I am thrilled to hear they have not only found a loving home but that they have not been separated. I do hope that knowledge brings you some comfort.

Be of good courage. Lean on your sponsors. Be good to yourself. You deserve it.

Sparkle said...

My heart is breaking for you, but I am so glad to now your cats have a good home - they are very lucky because that does not always happen when pets become part of the wreckage of alcoholism. My human knows this because her boyfriend is a friend of Bill's and they have both seen and heard some very sad stories. It is sad that your parents were not able to hang onto them and I know you already miss them horribly. Purrs to you as you heal from your grief.

Just Ducky said...

{{{HUGS}}}}, prayers and purrs that your recovery continues. Your heart is broken on the loss of Kukka and Brach, but their memories will stay with you forever. Enjoy them. You have to believe that they are well and having fun in their new home.

Memories, so many. She called Derby a rebel for sticking his leg out when laying in the window. Plus we love her reaction when Derby gave her a little bauble for her birthday. A crown fit for an empress.

The Meezers or Billy said...

Courtney, first and foremost, congratulations for fighting the alchol demon. You are a truly strong woman. I am so sorry that Kukka and Brach are no long with you, but happy that they are together and with another family. I know that you loved them so very much. I will always remember that Miles had such a crush on the beautiful Kukka!
I pray that your journey into sobriety continues and that you find your peace and happiness. Much love to you honey!


Spitty-the-Kitty said...

I am visiting from Simba's. Your kitties are okay and together. When you are well and strong, you will find that there'll be room again in your life for the Next Kitties. We will purr and purray for you.

GLOGIRLY said...

I am visiting from Simba's too. Your story has touched our hearts and dampened our cheeks. We agree with Spitty...your kitties are with each other and they are loved. I can't even imagine the hurt...but there will come a time you'll be able to adopt again. And give two more kitties that need you desperately all the love you have.
xo, Katie & Glogirly

The Crew said...

You must believe that Kukka and Brach are together and safe and you must also know that you gave them many years of happiness.

You're a very talented writer and a strong woman. I know you'll come through this and eventually your heart will be filled with love for another cat.

I can't choose one favorite post since there were so many I laughed and cried over. Kudos, and long live our Empress.

Crew's Mom

Karen said...

sending hugs your way

Carolina Cats said...

(((Courtney))) We are all here for you to help in whatever way we can as you fight this fight. I can't imagine the pain of knowing that Kukka and Brach had to go to another family. I do agree with everyone that you did the very best you could for them and they will always love you for that, as will we. I hope you can take comfort in knowing that they are together, taking care of each other.

We too have so many favorite stories of the Empress. We will always be her subjects.

Sending many purrs, hugs & love,
Finny, Buddy, Jazzy & mom Nora

Ivan and Izzy from WMD said...

We salute you, your overcoming a terrific struggle, your sharing the lives of your kidlets, your opening your heart to us. Peace be with you, Courtney.

ThePainterPack said...

I too am a recovering alcoholic. It has been 20 years for me. And it is never easy. I'd lost a lot along my journey and made bad choices. Please know that I think you are so brave for sharing your story. Never be ashamed of the struggles, but embrace them and learn from them. Someday you will be able to share this wonderful new life with other furry friends. You will continue the love began with Kukka-Maria and Brach and your heart will soar! Your babies have found a forever home. This was their destiny. Now, it is time to embark on your new destiny!


The Misadventures Of Me said...

Courtney, you are going to do well. And I have tears for you too. Im sorry recovery seems like a long hard road and losing those that are close harder.

High five to you for making the choice to be well! (((hugs)))

Mom Laure

Angel Junior, Orion and Sammy said...

Oh goodness! We are so sorry to read this! Please hang in there and keep fighting the good fight. It sounds like your babies are in a good place,and you need to keep yourself in the same. YOu have already taken a huge step, now keep going! You are stronger than you think! ((HUGS))

Meowm Rhonda and the boys

K T Cat said...

Courtney, all of us here in the Catican love you so much. We're so glad the story is growing into a happy ending. We'll pray for you and the kitties. As you go through these trials, know that you will always be close in our hearts.

K T Cat said...

What else could be our favorite but this one?

Carmen said...

So life has a funny way of circling back around - no? It's been a while since you and I had a chat, and then I come across your latest post.

Firstly - you are so brave. It takes a certain kind of person to admit they need help.

I think Kukka & Brach understood, too. Cats have this uncanny ability to understand things that we can't fathom that they would get. Like Pooh Bear always knew when I was sick, or when I was upset. And I'm so happy that they were adopted together - I'm going to believe that volunteer, and you should, too.

Pooh Bear passed in January, and I know what a heartbreak it is to be apart from our fur babies. But you and your parents did the right thing.

I can only imagine what Kukka would write about living with kids - won't she have some stories!


Dean said...

My prayers are with you. Via KT.

Milo and Alfie Marshall said...

Sending you love and hope and healing. xx

Jedi Master Ivyan said...

via KT

I firmly believe that you crossed paths with those women by some divine intervention. You were meant to know that your beloved pets are being cared for and loved so that you might have peace in your recovery. Now is the time to heal and get better. Later, you can return the favor and help someone else (human or feline).

God bless,
Jedi Master Ivyan

Doo Doo Econ said...

I recently lost my dog to my ex. She had similar struggles which you faced and when she recovered it was clear that my beloved dog would be loved and cared for in exchange for love and protection. I will never see my dog again and it is a great pain in my heart, but I know that it is for the best for them both.

I understand your loss and pray that your find a better life from your struggle.

Meowers from Missouri said...

i, too, am crying and almost hyperventilating as i read this. my dear woman--how brave you are to have undertaken this journey, how stout-hearted you are to have written this post! those two qualities will contribute to a great success in your ascent up out of the depths. knowing that your beloveds are together and in a loving family is a gift beyond price!

please know that the good wishes and prayers and purrs of many, many of us lift you on your way. god's blessings on you and all you love!

--meower mom and ed, nitro, xing lu, igmu sapa, daddy, an' the damnbrowndawg, too

Toffee K. Ripple Fuzzypants & Feline American Angels said...

Oh Courtney,
We're so sorry to hear this news about Kukka and Brach. Hugs to you.
DMM, Sparky Fuzzypants, Charmee
and Jessica

Mutnodjmet said...

I will pray for your comfort and healing. The cats seem to have found a good spot, and hopefully you will too.

Foxfier said...

Here from KT's place.

I'm so sorry to hear about you having to give up your cats, and I agree with Ivyan-- the lady was telling the truth, and Somebody wanted to give you that assurance that they were OK, you didn't abandon them.

I know that if I were looking for cats to be with my kids and went to a shelter, I'd snag a bonded pair in a heart beat.
As you pointed out, she described them, you didn't.
How many over-a-decade-old pairs of cats that look like that and are bonded can there be in a no-kill shelter!?!
And, lastly, the sort of person who'd foster a pair of cats is the same sort that would help with an adoption event-- I know that in our area, volunteers for this or that cause will go even counties away to help.

Mostly Nothing said...

Loosing a beloved pet is incredibly hard, I feel for you.

We had to put both our cats to sleep in the past 5 years. I cried both times. They both lived to be 18 and lived happy lives.

It's good that they are still together in a good family. Get yourself better, we're all pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

No matter how you are physically separated from your fur-babies, they are still connected to you and sending purrrfectly positive energy your way. Now is the time to focus on your recovery. They are there, just close your eyes and you'll know it's true. Praying for you!

Brenda G said...

Courtney although I don't know you,I do know your soul And I can tell you AA needs beautiful souls like yourself to walk through your recovery with the love and compassion you have for those felines. You will be able to take many women with you to heal along the way. I send you peace and light and please have the courage to stay and be the miracle god sent you to be... Brenda G

online diploma said...

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.

online diploma said...

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the good work.

Amanda said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences here on your blog.

Karen Jo said...

I am so glad that you are recovering and that if you had to give up Kukka and Brach, they got another good forever home. In time you may feel up to caring for other fur friends.

Lisa said...

Dear Courtney, I too am in AA and i too have loved and lost cats. Im inspired by your honesty and wish you all strength in your journey in recovery. Kukka Maria and Brach know they were/are loved by you, and are now connected with you in spirit. Keep coming back,