When I tell you my shadow is gone, what I really mean is I have lost my light.
From the moment I found her, she was my shadow and my light. She was standing on the side of the road in a snow storm. I pulled over and approached slowly, not wanting to scare her off. She looked up at me with her big black eyes; her nose bloody, shivering from the cold.
“I’m going to pick you up now,” I told her. “You are going to come home with me. I will take care of you.”
It isn’t like I didn’t go through the normal processes of looking for a person who might be missing her. I can’t pretend I was sad about not finding one. She was meant to be with me.
I have other pets who I love. The thing is, they also have other people in their lives they love more. Gem is Felicity’s cat. Lady is Bridgit’s dog. Pantherlilly is just the dude of the house, floating between people as the mood takes him. Calcipher was my dog. As long as I was there, she wouldn’t have minded if everyone else disappeared.
I haven’t had an intimate relationship in fourteen years. At first, it was just the natural product of getting a divorce. As time passed I came to realize I am asexual. I am also autistic. Both aspects of my being make me uncomfortable with a gentle touch, and with closeness. I always wonder if I am imposing my presence on other people. My children are the obvious human exception. I know they love me. I do my best to show them my love. They really are the only exceptions though.
I never had to wonder Calcipher wanted me to touch her. Her daily struggle seemed to be finding ways to get herself closer. I never felt uncomfortable when she touched me. Her love was unconditional.
My grief is profound. I can’t believe our time together was so short. I will miss you forever, Calcipher.