When that relationship ended, it felt like a family was being split up instead of just a couple. My ex may have been just as sad to say goodbye to our furbaby as he was to say goodbye to me, and I don't blame him - because Smuggz is an exceptional cat, and a loyal friend.
Post-breakup, I needed somewhere to heal and work for a while before starting a new life in Brooklyn, New York. So, I moved back to the place where it all began - my parents' house.
Smuggz spent most of his daylight hours roaming that same rural acre, while I spent mine writing. For the first time in almost five years, my cat was spending time outdoors, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he was loving it. Smuggz enjoyed reclaiming his old territory so much, in fact, that I frequently had to bribe him with brushings and treats to get him to come inside at bedtime.
Over the next two and a half months, I spent hours trying to find a room for rent in Brooklyn that would allow cats. As you can imagine, I had very little luck. By the time I finally found a place that would allow me to bring him along, and was actually in my price range, I had begun to see a transformation in Smuggz. He looked more fit, he was more energetic and he was almost always purring. He'd cuddle me at night, but the second I woke up in the morning, he'd go to the front door and silently wait for me to let him outside. It became clear to me that removing him from the fresh air and wide open spaces of the country, just to live in a shoebox-sized room in the city, would be cruel. Although it broke my heart, I knew what I had to do. Before embarking on my new journey to New York, I mustered up the courage to ask my parents to foster Smuggz until I could afford to rent a more spacious apartment. They agreed and I couldn't be more grateful. Neither could Smuggz.
Smuggz and I relaxing on my parents' front lawn. Elizabeth Enochs