I look at Katie and it scares me to realize how much she trusts me - fully and completely. Even when I take her to the vet, which she hates, she still trusts me. Sometimes, this trust pierces my heart.
Sitting on the floor, eating my cereal, she looks over at me with the typical kind indifference of a cat. I want to tell her, "We're going to board a plane on Tuesday. Are you ready? Yes, all the furniture is gone. It has been shipped to California. Yes, these leftover boxes will go soon, too. Until it's just you and me in this empty apartment. Until there is no apartment and it's just you and me. On a plane, flying to California. And then a new apartment. And some new things to mix in with the old. And then...?"
I stop, because I don't know what else to say. It is here where I get stuck. Because I don't know. I don't know how things are going to turn out. I don't know what to expect, really.
The next morning, I awake to Katie cat-punching me in the face. I quickly and calmly grab her by the nape of the neck like a mama bear and tell her "No. Do you understand? No. You don't do that."
I roll over to try to fall back asleep, but this is when the tears come. All the grief I've been holding back in an effort to move forward and get everything done arrives in full force. I grieve for the people I love who I won't be physically near anymore. I grieve for all the hopes and dreams I had when I first moved back to Austin that were never fulfilled. For the family I never had, the marriage that never happened, the house I never bought - all of it.
Before I realize it, Katie is in front of me again, but now she is licking my eyelids, my cheeks. I don't know if cats are capable of apologizing, but it feels like consolation. I gently hug her to me.
How do I explain my reasons for moving to California? There are so many and the answers change every time someone asks me. I am taking my life back. I am embracing my love of adventure. I am simply...moving.
Am I ready?