I’ve got those dreadful puffy eyes from crying too much. I’m wearing my sunglasses out in public way more than normal and have avoided seeing or speaking to anyone the past couple of days in case they talk to me and I start crying again. I can’t think straight, I’m demotivated and sad and I’m eating way more chocolate than normal.
Have I just experienced a break-up? No. A death in the family? Actually, yes. Our cat died on Mothers Day and I’m devastated.
I have very vivid memories of losing pets as a child and in particular one occasion when I discovered our cat lying dead on the road. I remember crying for what seemed like an eternity and wanting her back so badly – I was so shocked and so very sad. She was older than me so I had never known life without her. My mother told me it was an important lesson to learn and that I needed to be brave.
Going into adulthood I took those experiences with me, smugly thinking they would help me to cope with, heaven forbid, the death of a person or perhaps another pet. How wrong I was.
It was seventeen years ago when I rescued Kimba from some delinquent boys in a shopping mall when she was just a few weeks old. They were mistreating her and using her as their entertainment – I needed to get her out of the situation, so boldly stormed up to them, gave them a lecture and then confiscated the wee kitten by offering to pay them $5 which they gladly accepted before running off. Initially I thought I would just arrange for her to be adopted by some nice family but once I took her home my then boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to keep her.
I keep reminding myself now that I’m SO glad that we did.
Kimba seemed to appreciate so much that we’d given her a better life. She always stayed close to us and I remember when I was very sick she snuggled up right next to me the whole time. She’s moved to numerous houses with us and we’ve even taken her with us on holidays to stay with family. She was our first baby and the centre of our world.
When we had our first human child, Kimba definitely had a change in lifestyle but curiously tolerated the arrival of our firstborn. We used to joke when we brought each subsequent baby home from hospital that she had a look about her that said “oh no… not another one!” but really, she loved our girls – especially when they became old enough to spoil her with pats and treats. Our girls loved her back too of course, and as was the case with me as a child, none of them had known life without her.
The few days before Mothers Day, Kimba had been looking thin and frail. It seemed to happen quite quickly – one minute she was a contented and healthy cat that didn’t look anywhere near her 17 years, the next she was very sick. I knew about kidney failure in old cats as it had been the fate of one of our cats when I was a kid. I knew the symptoms and I knew that it was incurable. I also had hope that when she went to the vet that somehow the vet could make her better or at least prolong her life. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be.