Ever since the beginning I knew that the day would come. And then it came, much too fast, much too early. Friday 21, mid morning, my cat died.
This wasn’t actually unexpected: a large tumor had been detected in her belly early this year, and the vet didn’t hide the fact that it was highly unlikely to be the kind you eventually get better from. But you never know and we should have a look some day; long story short, I’ve been preparing for my cat’s death for a few months now.
And yet, on Wednesday night, I silently promised her heaps of tuna once she came back.
And yet, on Thursday night, I repelled an urge to hum a song by U2.
And yet, on Friday morning I handed her over to the vet as if for routine surgery.
And when the Call came two hours later, I had to decide whether to let her sleep.
Originally I wanted to write a tribute here, full of thoughts and fun anecdotes. Describing how sweet and patient she was. Telling about the 7 different flats we have been living in together. How, in one of them, she once rushed between my legs as I opened the front door, escaped into the common stairway and kept me running up and down the stairs until she let me catch her. How she got to lick the remains of my creme brulée, half because I only saw her when she was halfway through, and half because it was the day before her last op. How every so often I would see her from the corner of my eye, only to turn out to be a big bag in the shadow or a crumpled shirt on the floor (I’m dreading the inevitable moments it will happen again in the next few months).
Or, I could have told about those little details which harrow me with curious melancholy. Like that last bowl of fresh water I gave her on Friday morning; I don’t even know if she has drunk from it. Or the fact that she died on the last day of summer.
Or, I could have tried to describe all these things you cannot put into words: her voice, her smell, the warm feeling as she lies on my leg purring and gently sticks her claws into my knee.
I shall refrain though, and cuddle her furry memory, in hope that she will stay with me, in my heart, until the day it is my turn to die.