As you might know my darling Nyxie puss passed away on Tuesday night, it was quick, sudden and highly unexpected, yes she had been a little unwell but the vet said it was just a cold, gave her some antibiotics and told us to keep an eye on her, what we did not expect was her sudden and rapid decline on Tuesday night, which culminated in her laying in my arms as she passed away surrounded by loving pets, hugs and tears from us her family.
What was also a bit unexpected was the absolute rush of grief and loss that I felt and still feel, Callista and Nyx came into our lives in 1998, our previous cat Tabby had passed away at the age of 8 the year before, Tabby had helped me through a tumultuous time that culminated in the breakdown of my marriage and many many a time I had sat outside with my Tuzbucket and cried into his fur.
When Tabby took ill I was a sole parent to two small children and when the vet said they didn’t know for sure what was wrong with him and it would take a costly operation to find out I was in a large dilemma, some weeks I barely had enough money to pay the rent and bills, I sadly came to the conclusion that I had to put Tabby to sleep, I hated myself for that choice and I have never forgiven myself for it, I don’t know if anything could have been done for Tabby, but it was part of my contract with him that I at least try, and I couldn’t even do that.
Callista and Nyx were teeny tiny little Burmese/Abyssinian crosses and from the very first moment I saw Callista she owned my heart, when I found out that Nyx hadn’t been adopted, I just had to have her as well, they came into my life at just the right time and they were there for me through some pretty rough times, I promised myself that this time it would be different, that if my kitties needed help I would give it to them, I would not let them down.
They never once let me down, when my Mum was diagnosed with cancer in early 1999 my poor kitties bore the brunt of my tears and all my angry monologues and when Mum died just before Christmas in ’99 my kitties were the ones who saved my sanity and once again lent me their fur so I could cry into something soft and warm.
Through various other upheavals and more tears and sadness when my Nan passed away, my kitties were there for me, through it all, when in October of 2011 I ended up in hospital dangerously ill and on the point of death a few times, I used my kitties as my inspiration poster through the many months of rehab, their picture was pinned up on the wall of the room where I did my physio, where I took the first faltering pull ups from my chair to relearn how to walk again my one fear was that they would forget me because I had been gone for so long.
When I was finally released from hospital after 9 long months I was not the same person I had been when I was admitted, now I need a walker, my mobility is limited, I get tired stupidly easily and my brain is not the same as it once was, I get depressed very easily and yet once again my kitties were there for me to hold onto and cry into their fur, nothing changed about the way they treated me, I never once felt like a nuisance or a burden to my kitties, which sadly is not how I think of myself to other people.
So when Nyx died it felt like the bottom had dropped out of my world again, and some people made comment that my grief was somehow inappropriate since it was “just a cat” and that far more horrible and sad things happen all over the world every minute of every day, yes, yes they do, but grief and sadness are not an Olympic sport, you don’t get graded on how you show grief, or on what makes you sad.
My grief and sadness are mine, losing Nyx hurts and I suspect that it will hurt for a good long while to come, she was not “just a cat” to me, she was a vital part of my life, I am having her cremated and her remains will be with me always, once again some people have said that this is stupid and a waste of money, after all she was “just a cat”.
If I had the money I would get her ashes turned into one of those diamonds and wear her close to my heart always, something I am sure would scandalise the “just a cat” people.
She wasn’t and never will be “just a cat” to me.