Today a fixture in my life vanished. Our family cat of twenty-one years had to be put to sleep. Picking up the telephone at lunch-time and listening to your distraught mother break the news that a beloved pet whose antics and unconditional love you've enjoyed since you were a teenager is gone ... what can I say, it was not a fun experience, to say the least. Was this unexpected news? No, I can't say that it was. Was this news sudden and painful? Yes.
I used to say that she behaved, as all good cats do, as if we were her humans. It was her world and we were a part of it.
Today the sun is shining in Vancouver and it's a picture perfect day. I wasn't working, which meant that I had some freedom to process this event however I saw fit. So I went for a walk on the beach, shed some tears, smiled at some young children playing as the tide rolled in. I went to my favourite coffee shop, bought a fancy cup o' joe, and made a silent toast.
Did I say my cat vanished today? I was wrong.
I have countless memories to treasure. They mostly revolve around a lot of cuddling, a lot of purring, a lot of sunbathing, and a lot of grooming, mixed in with yowls demanding attention and some spectacular leaps and sprints in younger days when she would take no prisoners to seize catnip or any fascinating object she wanted to capture. She was adorable. She was the runt of her litter, and was rescued from the local SPCA to live a long and happy life. I'll never forget how all four of us (my parents, my younger sister and me) all instantly bonded to this poor neglected kitten who was shunted aside and couldn't get enough milk from her mother. After we adopted her, she would constantly nuzzle and suck on your finger in persistent pleas for more milk. This inevitably led to someone going to the fridge to give her "just a little more" milk as we spoilt her shamelessly.
These memories will never die.