Farewell, Sweet Kichu

Last night, Kris and I dropped off one of our cats, Kichu, at what we hope will be his forever home. It was a difficult time for both of us. Kris was teary about it at multiple points during the week, and even though Kichu disrupted my sleep more times than I can count, I am also deeply saddened at the loss of his presence in our household. However, it was the best decision for his future, and, when cats are concerned, we certainly put their needs above our own.

The process of finding Kichu’s new mother, chatting to her, and arranging to drop him off at her house was remarkably quick. We were first put into contact with her on Tuesday. We initially arranged to drop of Kichu on Wednesday, but that fell through, leading us to drop him off yesterday (Thursday) instead. It has been an emotional few days.

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Kichu is a very charismatic, loud, and curious cat. He has been our cuddle buddy, alarm clock, welcoming committee, hot water bottle, gaming companion, and so much more in the short time that we have been lucky enough to have him. He did frequently annoy me by fighting with our other foster cat, Catsby, and by meowing late at night and early in the morning. Kris did not notice the meowing as much, as she sleeps like a rock, but I was at my wit’s end with Kichu on many occasions. Nevertheless, I always loved him, and he was a core part of our home.

Getting him to Itaewon in Seoul, where his new mother lives, was an ordeal, but not quite as onerous as I was expecting. Kichu does not like to travel. He came to us drugged up on sedatives, meowing his head off, with his eyes rolling in his head from fighting off the drugs. We were worried that moving him would be a similar experience. Luckily, it was not. We chose not to sedate him, and simply drive in a taxi with an understanding taxi driver. The choice not to drug him proved worthwhile, as he was relatively calm. He meowed the entire way, but his tone was nowhere near as panicked as it was on his first night with us. We were glad that he was more settled.

When we arrived at his new home, he was initially very wary. He did not leave his carrying box for a couple of minutes. Thankfully, his curiosity soon outweighed his fear, and he began clambering all over his new home, mewing his opinions on the decor. We spent what felt like an all-too-short amount of time allowing him to settle in while we met his new mother. She seems lovely, and we believe that she will give Kichu all of the love that he needs. She also works from her home, so she will be able to spend more hours per day on Kichu than we were. Overall, we are happy that he is going to a place where he will be loved.

Then, the time came to say goodbye and catch the two buses back to Dongtan. We cuddled him, shed a tear or two, and walked out the door. Kris broke down a little on the roof outside Kichu’s new home, but she quickly gathered herself. I admire her for her strength.

The house is very different without Kichu. It is quieter, but less full of life and action. We didn’t receive a welcoming meow, or a wake-up call. It was almost eerie this morning. We will need to adjust to his absence. However, his new mom has said that we are welcome to pop in and say hi whenever we like, and we will most likely take her up on it. Kichu may be out of our home, but he is probably not out of our life. And, more importantly, he is now brightening someone else’s life – someone who will be able to provide him the stable him that we might not be able to for a while. Kichu will be happy. And, because of it, so will we.

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