We have always had cats in our lives. My daughter’s cats were her best friends as she grew up. She would ride her bike as her cat Charlie would sit on her shoulder enjoying the ride. So when she adopted a cat shortly after her marriage it didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was that I literally never saw the cat. Shade lived in a corner under the bed. I tried several times to coax that cat from under the bed but when my attempts failed I just chalked it up to her being antisocial.When my daughter moved to Mount Cope to give her marriage another chance she soon was to bring into her home another kitten. Duchess was born with a lesion on her brain and because of this had difficulty with her balance. It was shortly after her arrival that she too would make her home under the bed with Shadow. I never saw these cats. When Duchess did come down to eat, Shade would follow in a very protective manner. I thought their behaviour to be very strange but really did not give it much thought.
During the last year of her marriage my daughter and her cats became sick. It seemed as if she was always at a walk in clinic or at her doctor. There would be times that she would be forced to pull over on the side of the road while driving to vomit . One night when she was doubled over in pain she asked her husband to take her to the hospital. His response to her was for her to follow the “blue H signs”. At the hospital they monitored her while giving her morphine for the pain and an IV for her dehydration. They did not know what was wrong with her. Shade and Duchess became sick as well. She tried several times to get Duchess spayed but the Vet refused because of the symptoms she was exhibiting. They thought she had leukemia.Test after test showed nothing. But she continued to be sick. Shade also was at the Vet where they suspected her also of having leukemia. Again, test after test revealed nothing. I remember telling my daughter that I thought it was very strange that both her and her cats were suffering with the same symptoms.
Her health changed the night she told her husband. She wanted out of her marriage. She had had enough. Her unhappiness led her to the arms of another man. A man that listened to her without criticism, a man who encouraged her, a man who made her feel good. She knew it was wrong and it was over. It only happened once. She knew her marriage was over. She needed to leave. She told her husband with the knowledge that this would cement the end. His response to her confession was that she was raped. It was his story.The story that he penned to paper literally. The story that he sat and read to me.
He convinced her not to leave. He would remind her consistently throughout the year that he is a loving husband, that she was raped, that he will get revenge, that he loved her more than she would ever know, that she is going to hell. As she ate her supper that night that he made for her she innocently asked him ” You didn’t poison my food, did you?”
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