Missing someone is among the most difficult things to bear. For both myself, and likely for many others, coming to college meant leaving behind the ones we hold dearest to our hearts. Living on campus meant no longer sharing our childhood homes with the families we love. It’s a challenging transition that often brings about feelings of loneliness and longing.
And while those first few months of freshman year are easily the most heart-wrenching, moving back to campus after a summer at home remains a difficult adjustment. This year when I moved back to school, I still yearned for the comforts of my family’s company and the safety of the house I grew up in.
But just as I did my first year, I began to acclimate to this new environment. Being away meant I was able to indulge in new experiences and meet the most remarkable and interesting people. Slowly things began to fall into place and before I realized it, I wasn’t feeling so homesick anymore. I had found a second family in these new friends I met, and this scary new place became my home away from home.
As we near the midway mark of Spring Quarter, I’ve realized that there remains a hole in my heart that has failed to be filled. While I obviously miss dinners with my dad and chats on the terrace with my sister, we live in the digital era: a period that comes with the glorious perk of being able to maintain contact with the people I love even when they reside miles away.
I’ve been able to keep in touch with the majority of my loved ones back home, but unfortunately, not all of them are so communicative. Not all of them care to check in. And it’s become my heartbreaking reality that the most important individual in my life is the one whom I just can’t reach.
I understand that there’s complications and impediments to maintaining correspondence, but it is devastating nonetheless to never hear from my girl. When I think about how much I miss her, it shatters my heart and shakes my very core.
MeowMeow, my sweet perfect angel, has been eluding all of my efforts to reach her. Life without her is a tremendous struggle, and it hurts even more to know that she is currently living a life that I am not a part of.
I’m plagued by the most intrusive thoughts, ideas that have the power to keep me up at night.
“Does she miss me? Does she ever think about me? Does she even realize I’m gone?”
The worst part is, I know the answer to these questions. I know I haven’t crossed her mind since I stepped out the front door. I know she is currently cuddling with another, probably screaming sweet nothings in their ears at 5 a.m. like she once did to me.
There is no loyalty when it comes to a kitty back home. MeowMeow sees nothing but the can of wet food on the counter and the person who will spoon it into her bowl at dinner time.
I hope my dad realizes the superficialness of her affection. I hope my sister sees through her soft purrs and blank stares. I hope they realize that MeowMeow will never be theirs, just as I’ve come to realize that she was never mine.
I’m not bitter, but updates from my dad of her daily mischief and photos of her day to day routine still hurt. She has continued life as always, without a care in the world. Even without me there, she is vomiting in her water bowl and throwing hair ties in the air. She’s still pooping on the carpet and sleeping the day away in her buttercup. It seems my absence has gone unnoticed. It seems her routine has been uninterrupted. And, it seems her demeanor remains unbothered.
When I return home for breaks, she rests her eyes in my sister’s room, leaving the edge of my bed feeling empty and cold. It’s worse to be in her presence and know she has moved on than it is to be far away with nothing but the photos and memories of our good times together.
And the humiliating truth is that no matter how much she ghosts me, no matter how much she pulls away, I will never stop missing her. I may feel resentful for her infidelity and for the way she actively confirms my insignificance, but she remains the same effervescent and beautiful cat that I fell in love with. I can not resist the angelic aloofness of her little round face, her powerful meow during our daily conversations, and not the enviable back arch that she flaunts at every opportunity.
There is no replacement for the feeling of velvety fur on my legs as MeowMeow brushes against me while I sit on the toilet. She has a permanent place in my heart, an irreplaceable role in my life. I will always have this soft spot for my sweet, sweet cat, and I know that she is what will always keep me tethered to a hometown that I have begun to grow out of.
Photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash