Friday, 4 July 2014

Angel with Fur - A Tribute.

On Tuesday evening I lost a little furry angel. Although she was "just a cat", in many ways I do feel I have lost one of my best friends.

Heidi came into our lives after having two previous homes, she was loved greatly in both, by my Mum before she returned to Canada and before that with a friend of my Mums who sadly had to pass her on because of allergies. I really feel that with Josie and I Heidi found her true home.

I have always loved cats, they've been an important part of my journey through life and I've always had deep respect for and pleasure from their company. When cats know they are going to die they usually take themselves off silently and do not return. They choose to die alone and therefore I am eternally grateful that I got to bury Heidi and say goodbye to her in my human way. I feel she sacrificed her feline dignity so we could have that comfort.

Heidi was a particularly special kitty though, she had a softness and gentleness with me that I'd never experienced in an animal before, she liked to lick mine and Josie's skin and would often nudge us apart so she could sit or sleep between us both.

She was also a keen adventurer and I think possibly part tree monkey! She did like to spend a lot of time up tall trees and especially on the roof! Living both with my Mum and us she'd often insist on coming into the house through an upstairs window and had an unfathomable aversion to cat flaps.

An aversion to cat flaps that is if she wasn't bringing us "presents". When we closed the cat flap so she couldn't do that any longer she then instead landed (through the window) on our table with the latest surprise in her mouth! Whilst I appreciated this was a gesture of fondness, it wasn't often best received atop our vegan breakfast! Cheeky little carnivore.

I will always be grateful to Heidi for keeping my Granny company too. If we were out and Heidi was inside, we'd often find her sat with my Granny, her ears poking up from behind the back of her chair. She knew who needed comfort and how to administer it. It's perhaps not co-incidence that Heidi passed away days before my Granny is due to go into a nursing home.

I neither believe it co-incidence that she died on her birthday but that didn't stop the shock. Heidi had just been inside minutes before I got news that she had been killed. Josie and I had just given her a special tea for her birthday and we'd all been rolling on the floor together with a balloon taking selfies of the three of us to remember her day. I'll be eternally grateful that our last moments together were captured. She must have gone out for one last play of the day before coming home to sleep at our feet as always. I know she went happy.

Yes, I am devastated that my little furry friend is no longer with us, but I am also incredibly grateful for what she gave to Josie and I. When I announced the news that she had passed away,  I got a message from a special friend who said that whilst we may never understand why she had to be taken so soon, Heidi had come to us to show Josie and I the power and potential we have as a unit to love and care for something, someone,  that relied on us completely. Heidi taught Josie and I about our capacity to be mothers, parents together. She took us from being a couple to being a family.

I know Heidi was thought of very fondly by everyone who met her, even the carers that come to help us with my Granny used to give her little treats and one even bought her a box of biscuits. Even those that didn't meet her and just know of her through Facebook fame had expressed their fondness for her. She was really loved and I think she knew it. She will be truly missed.

Josie and I buried her at the bottom of "her" garden under a big leafed bush that she used to sit under in the shade and watch us from. We wrapped her up in blanket and gave her her favourite ball. She was still warm and she did love being wrapped up like a baby in that blanket - so I just feel that we put her to bed to sleep forever. Her spirit will always be around and I'm happy that she'll remain in a home where she was so free, both domesticated and wild.

When Heidi died I cried for two days, the tears for the most part have stopped now but I have a dull ache where I know something is missing inside. I trust that time will be a healer, as it always is. Eventually I know another cat will come into my life, but not another Heidi, she could not be replaced. There is a quote by Leo Dworkin that reads, "No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat" and this is very true. I hold dear all of the kitties that have come and gone throughout my life, I lightheartedly remember them with fondness. But Heidi will hold a particularly special seat in my heart. I am grateful to her for all that she brought to our lives and taught to us as a result. Her essence will never truly be gone.

"Angel with Fur"

1st July 2012 - 1st July 2014