Five years ago last week you came into our lives. You were found in a garbage bin merely a week old, bottle-fed, loved and raised by our entire family. As we watched you grow, so did your feisty street-cat personality, which almost cost you all of your 9 lives in your first year!! You were so different and so much fun, it was difficult to do anything but fall in love with you.
Over the years your feistiness became an extension of your crazy ways. Like how you would stop at nothing to climb up and all over whoever was eating bananas just to fulfil your addiction. Or how fast you would run toward the smell of a packet of Doritos just opened. Not to mention the lap and personal space you would inhibit until you either were lucky enough to claw a crisp out of our hands or capitalise on a moment in time where you stuck your head in the packet while no one was looking. Even eating watermelon, mango and cucumber became a comical challenge.
Later in your life you lost sight in one eye. Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting you barely noticed since all of your other traits out-trumped the thought of entertaining you being visually impaired. Like the time you sat on the edge of a ten-meter high windowsill, leaned slightly out only to come back inside with a prize bird flapping in your mouth. Then there were all those times the pram would come out and you would stand to attention only to make home in the seat underneath as you knew it was time for a walk in the park. What about the countless visits to the neighbours or long drives to see our friends, our picnics together, drives in the car to collect the kids from school or long walks in the woods where you would insist on being our tour guide, always leading the way.
What we love the most about you Pops, is how loving and loyal you have been to all of us. No matter where you are and at what time of the day, if you heard one of us cry, you would come running. You would find whoever was hurt and you would sit with them, often sticking your face right in theirs, meowing to ask what you could do to help, tucking your head under their chin, their arm, only to pull back again to see if they were ok. And you would stay until everything had settled. Your purr would always sooth us all. It was a medicine in itself. Your intuitive nature was astonishing to watch, as has been your loyalty and unconditional love.
You taught my kids about the importance of respecting animals. You showed them how to nurture all types of personalities and took them from children who were scared of animals to now being eager to learn about becoming Vets. But that wasn’t without a few scratches and scars along the way!
You’ve travelled the world by plane and paw. You’ve played under sprinklers with us all on hot summer days. You’ve galloped in the fields with your sidekicks as you all chased butterflies in the long tall grass. You’ve braved the snow to oversee your family all in the name of loyalty and unconditional love. Whoever said your counterparts were mans best friend obviously never met someone like you.
You’ve photo-bombed almost all of our photos. You’ve lived a life most cats – I am sure – would never know exists outside of their garden or flat. You have lived that life beyond any form of cat normality. You have the personality like no other I have ever met. And as you sit here on my lap purring, tucking your head into the crook of my elbow, my words will never describe the love, joy and happiness you have brought to my family.
But I understand today has to be your last and I have to let you go.
We are going to miss you kitten. You are crazy, brave, have watched over us like it was duty and given us so much love. No matter how much time we could have had together, it would never have been enough.
It’s been a sudden shock for us all but it is time for you to have a pain-free life. I am not sure what night time cuddles are going to feel like without you. I’ll be sure to tell the kitten angels just how amazing you’ve been in our world and I’ll make sure they’ll have your fruit-platter ready.
We will always love you and never forget you xxx
Love is a need, not just a want. It is a common denominator for us all, unknowingly connecting us throughout the world. Without it, we will not survive. Unconditional love is the second part of a series where I explore and illustrate how love can affect us all, in this case; the loss of a family pet.