I have had Fannie Mae for a very long time - 15 years to be exact. She was rescued from the mouth of a ravenous dog by my "animal loving" brother-in-law (insert sarcasm). Zac did save Fannie from certain and painful death, but for the sake of Zac's good name, I won't divulge how he came to learn that Fannie was indeed in need of rescue.
Well, from first sight, Fannie and I were family. I fed her from a bottle, she pretended to nurse on me, and she slept under the covers right next to me every night. We graduated college together, we tortured roommates together, we comforted each other in the freezing cold (Ohio), we graduated law school together and we got married together.
Yes, I loved that cat. In spite of her incontinence, daily vomiting and bi-weekly revenge bowel movements. I could justify giving her multiple second chances because after all, she does have a mental health diagnosis - namely manic depressive disorder and and schizophrenia. No joke - she was diagnosed by Dr. Pees of Ada, Ohio.
Everything was smooth sailing for Fannie until September 19, 2009, when we brought Finn home from the hospital. Fannie hated Finn. To this day she doesn't like him that much - but she at least tolerates him. Fannie's life became infinitely worse (if that is possible) once "Tsunami Sam" tore into her life. Finn, while deplorable, was at least gentle. Sam, by his very nature is rough as a cob, and treated Fannie with as much care as he does his Ultimate Warrior wrestling buddy.
I must admit, that overtime my feelings about Fannie changed. I recall days sitting at my office in Nashville actively worrying that the crock-pot would short out and that Fannie would die in a blazing inferno. Now, I secretly wish that my ceiling fan would fall on top of her and put her out of her misery.
Well, last night, Fannie got outside. We found her sitting on the front porch when we got home from church. When I called her to come inside, she gave me the evil-eye and then she ran off. I was perplexed. This behavior was very out of character. Fannie, who I would define as a more of a lover of all things synthetic, does not like to be in the grass. Oh sure she loves to eat it and then throw up all over my carpet, but she doesn't like for grass, or dirt or the earth in general to touch her. Finn was pretty upset when we all went inside and closed the door without Fannie.
After putting the boys to bed, I went outside to get Fannie, but she was nowhere to be found. I checked again at 10:00 p.m. - no Fannie. I left the garage door open for her so that she wouldn't have to spend the night outside. The next morning I looked for her at 5:00 a.m and then again at 7:00 a.m. I began to wonder if Fannie had gone off to die under a tree (I have heard that cats do that).
I made the decision not to tell the boys. For some unknown reason, Finn has grown very attached to our mean old cat. He lights up every time they happen to be in the same room - which is almost never considering Fannie's disdain for Finn and Sam.
On the way to school, I told Michael "in code" that Fannie was gone. Finn decoded me with ease and started to tear up. I tried my best to comfort him. I informed him that Fannie was really old and that she probably just wanted to see the neighborhood before she dies. When that provided no comfort, I decided to go in a different direction. I told Finn that he shouldn't be that upset because Fannie didn't like him anyway. I went on and on about how miserable she was now that they (Finn and Sam) are around. At first he thought it was funny, but after having time to soak it in, Finn started to cry again and said, "mom, Fannie doesn't love me?" What on earth made me think this was a good idea??? So what does any mom do when she has crushes her child's soul? She back-peddles. But Finn wasn't buying it. He responded, "mom, I know you're not being honest with me." After some discussion, he was willing to accept that Fannie did hate him at birth, but that she has grown to only merely dislike him.
Once we pulled into the parking lot, I made my second poor decision of the morning. I told Finn that we could pray for Fannie - WHAT! If Fannie was actually dead, then Finn would believe that God did not answer his prayer. I quickly realized my complete lack of judgment and changed the subject.
After dropping Sam off at his class, Finn and I walked to his room. Once we were alone, Finn whispered, "mom, will you pray with me for Fannie?" I was heartbroken. So in that little hallway, I knelt down next to Finn, held his hand, and we prayed for Fannie's safety.
After praying we walked through the door and I kissed Finn goodbye. As I was leaving he ran up behind me, buried his head in my stomach and cried. Then, he pulled himself together - he looked at me, held his hands up to his face and took several deep breaths. Once again, I was heartbroken.
I am ashamed to say, that I felt some relief when I thought Fannie was gone, but seeing Finn's reaction, I knew that I had to go find that cat.
As it turns out, Fannie resurfaced around 12:30 p.m. CST. Yay . . .
When I picked the boys up from school, I was happy to report to Finn that Fannie was home. He was very happy. He said, "I haven't been able to get Fannie out of my mind all day."
PSA: Listen up Fannie, it is time for you start being nicer to Finn. He may be the only friend you have on this earth.
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