It’s funny how the past remains even when you think it long gone.
These are Tia’s footprints, uncovered when the builders ripped up the flooring in our kitchen earlier this week. She always was a mischievous cat and so dainty, a lilac Burmese, slightly mad and full of frogs.
I’d forgotten all about her making this trail of footprints until I saw them again. She just wouldn’t stay out of the way when the concrete was poured, making her marks then spending the next hour or so frantically trying to remove every last speck of the setting substance from her tiny paws with her rough, pink tongue. I think she found it all very confusing.
They remind me a little of those pictures of dinosaur footprints that you sometimes see in National Geographic, an echo from millions of years ago captured in the rock that was once just mud for some gigantic creature to lumber across.
Tia wasn’t gigantic, she was petite. We were her pets for almost twenty years, she our first cat. Tia was Misty’s predecessor; poor Misty so very young when she was killed by a passing car on that drenching wet Welsh Friday afternoon last year.
Sometimes it feels like a million years since the tiny kitten of twenty years ago danced tag around my feet, and aeons since Misty dived bombed me from the top of the kitchen cupboards, making me jump and spill my coffee.
These long hidden footprints of my lost feline love bring them both back to mind; and I try so hard to keep it clear of them. I’m practiced at keeping them away, I've become used to ignoring the glimpses I still see from the corner of my eye. These days I hardly ever bend to pick up the dish that’s no longer there at nin-nin time; even though I often want to.
I keep thinking about getting another, but not just yet and sometimes I decide (again) that I never will. The new floor should go down next week and these last remnants of Tia’s existence will be hidden once more - out of sight, out of mind as they say.
Out of sight, out of mind? Well, maybe. I wonder how long it’ll take me to forget them this time.
She had such delicate paws