It took us nearly a month, but both of our cats have found new homes.
Lucy now lives with a lovely woman and another cat in a quiet apartment, perfectly suited to her quiet temperament. She is well loved and cared for, making it easier to have said good-bye to her.
Simon has become the resident cat at a local residential care home, which also perfectly matches his outgoing and affectionate personality. Simon thrives on attention, and I nearly cried with joy when I found a residential care home that was interested in adopting him.
I am so grateful to friends and readers who offered encouragement and suggestions, who tagged Facebook friends and shared statuses in hopes of finding someone willing to open their home to a cat or two. Lucy found her home thanks to a tag by one of you wonderful readers, and Simon's home was found in response to one of more than thirty emails I sent to local residential care homes, hoping to find one who was interested in a residential cat.
It feels strange to not have cats in our house. I've had at least one cat since I was a little girl, having convinced my parents to let in a stray black kitten that I had found. I named her, unsurprisingly and uncreatively, Midnight, and she died only a couple of years ago. There was also Casper, the white cat we adopted shortly after taking in Midnight, and you can see how my uncreative naming streak persisted. Next came the stray cat who wandered into the library where I worked as a teenager; I had begged my mom to let me bring him home. He's still there, living with my parents, and you won't be at all surprised to hear that I named him Books. Then I moved out and adopted two cats of my own, my Lucy and Simon.
Now it's just us and the hermit crabs and it hasn't really sunk in yet. I still automatically tuck my shoelaces into my boots so the cats don't chew on them, still go to scoop the cat litter when I'm taking out the garbage, still keep food carefully watched lest a cat jump up and help themselves to a few unattended bites.
I suppose we'll all get used to it in time.