Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Sister's Gift To Me: Upsie

Link to my blog: What Did You Eat?

Seven years ago, my sister Antonia came to live with me. She was recovering from a terrible car accident that she was lucky to survive. She also had to contend with her worsening bipolar disorder and alcoholism. After some time, she felt ready to have her own place to live and wound up renting an apartment in a town near me. One day, she noticed a very frightened cat hiding in the bushes near her patio door. It was terrified when she tried to talk to it, so she put out food, and over a period of days managed to lure the cat inside. At first Antonia thought the cat lived upstairs, hence the name Upsie. But, she soon found out that Upsie was homeless. We also learned that Upsie was sick, with many different ailments, including mastitis, an infection of the milk ducts in her breasts. She had given birth and her kittens died. Over time, Antonia and Upsie formed a very close bond. Upsie was the only living creature that provided my sister true comfort and unconditional acceptance. Both Antonia and Upsie had experienced some very bad moments in their life and were leery of other people. Upsie couldn't tolerate any other human, including me. Then, a very bad thing happened. My sister died, from an overdose of her medication. She left a note asking that Upsie be given the best of care, which I have tried to do.

I would love Upsie, no matter what her history. But, each time I'm with her, I feel the presence of Antonia. I look into those big kitty eyes and I know that she remembers my sister, just as I do. I thank God that Upsie gave my sister love and comfort during the dark days, as her emotional health was deteriorating. Upsie was always understanding and never became irritated or worn out by my sister's behavior. Upsie and I are now very close and she gives me the same love that she bestowed on Antonia. Her presence helped me so many times during my moments of grief after my sister's death--moments I still experience. She is my gift, but I realize that she is only on loan to me. Someday, she and Antonia will be back together again.


Blogger sher said...

OK, It's me Upsie and I'm voting for myself!

9:25 AM  
Blogger Finnegan & Buddy said...

What a beautiful and sad story. I'm so glad you and Upsie have each other for a while to love and take care of one another and share in your love and memories of Antonia.

Finny & Buddy's mom

5:56 PM  
Blogger Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

aw, what a nice sister to have taken the energy to worry about upsie when so much was happening to her personally.

9:24 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Wow, it's no wonder Upsie has so much personality! What a heart-wrenching story.

9:27 AM  
Blogger Skeeeeezix the Cat said...

Whut a bittersweet storey! I think yoo and Upsie belong together!

12:19 AM  

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