By Isabella @TheWandCarver
Alright… I admit I feel a bit weepy. But then, wouldn’t anybody? Look at that face! She was… is… a diamond. And she shined like a diamond… no, I won’t sing the song… I miss her. I miss the best cat ever. I miss my Chili. Still, I do know that whilst she isn’t stretched out over me inconveniently as she could do – especially when I am trying write a blog or schedule the next day’s tweets – that she is not gone, really. She spent her last year wanting to park herself over my heart every chance she got. And her last three days with me… which, by the way, ended sadly exactly one year ago today…I only sat with her, cuddling her on my chest where she felt the safest. I could not let her go into that good night alone. Not for a minute. Because, many wouldn’t believe this, but this cat, yes, a cat, never once made me sit alone when I needed a friend. She was always, always there for me. It was the very, very least thing I could do for her.
She is not gone. She is wrapped right round my heart, forever.
In my Goodbye blog to this wonderful girl last year, I shared a few little stories about her. The funny and cute kind. But in this tribute, I feel I must tell some uncomfortable truths about my life to fully explain why this girl was so remarkable. When Chili had been with me for a little over two years, the man I married a year after I got her had started knocking me about. Don’t worry, he wasn’t my children’s father. He happens to be the polar opposite and would never raise a hand to a woman. But this chap I was married to at the time was a raging narcissist, gaslighter, and an overall selfish toe rag. I didn’t know this when I married him, however. He was all sweetness and light. That’s how they get you, I suppose. Enough of his shenanigans. Because he also played away… and he also liked to ring those numbers for a little chat up with some woman who probably looked no better than me but sounded like she was eighteen… he lost his job. We, in short order, lost our home. We ended up living with his relatives but could not bring Chili because his stepmother was quite ill and needed oxygen, so cat dander was not welcomed in their home. I had to have my children’s father keep Chili for me for a while. Why didn’t I leave this horrible man instead? Because the usual… I believed he would change [*cough*], he had me Svengali-ed… and I was terrified of what he might do if I did leave.
So, there we stayed for the next year. I did get to visit Chili, often as I could. She had lost so much weight. I worried day and night that she wouldn’t make it til I got free of Mr Git. So, I hatched a plan. I began shifting my boxes of unpacked items into a lock up that I rented. Mr Git thought I was simply getting rid of all my stuff. That was the story, anyway. Eventually, I got a little job and leased a small caravan to live in, but of course he followed me! One Saturday morning he decided to visit and knock seven bells out of me right in front of my neighbours. Good one, Mr Git. He was promptly arrested, threw a complete tantrum as well which got him tasered and the rest as they say, is history. I was free and my girl was back with me. Win.
This episode above did not leave me in a state of wanting to dance and have parties til dawn. Just the opposite. I wept all the time. I couldn’t eat. I had suicidal thoughts….yes, I know…I don’t believe it either, now. But at the time, I was an undeniable mess. Then, this little cat… she would sleep right beside me every night, as closely as she could. She would wake me every morning with nose kisses and eyelid kisses. If I didn’t open my eyes right away, she would just stand and peer down at me for as long as it took. And, I joke not… when I finally opened my eyes, I could swear she was smiling. When I had a crying jag she would put a paw on my arm and sit patiently beside me or curl up in my lap, nudging my hand with her head so I would stroke her fur…it’s like she knew that by doing that I would be soothed, and I was. It is a medically known fact that stroking cat fur will reduce high blood pressure and calm you. She had to have known this. And when I was really feeling my most broken, Chili would lay on me and purr a most rousing roar of a purr. Because, in case you didn’t know, a cat’s purrs can help heal broken bones… and hearts. It is a medically proven fact, as well. In fact, cats often heal themselves with their own purrs.
I would never have made it without her.
We kind of kept each other going for the next thirteen or fourteen years. All seemed well until she began hiding away a lot. It is the feature of a poorly cat – to hide away. I really didn’t pay as much mind as I should have because she ate voraciously. An ill cat won’t eat, will it? I learned when I saw how skinny my Chili had gotten and rushed her to the Vet’s that indeed, despite her voracious appetite, she was quite ill. Hyperthyroidism. And to top it off, she was also in renal failure. I only thought I was a mess after the episode with Mr Git. I was ready to fling myself off the highest mountain now! But, funnily enough, with medication and her special diet, apart from some scary episodes here and there, my strong and loving best friend carried on almost another three full years until the wee morning hour of last 25 July. Oh, she tried and so did I. By the first of the three days, I knew her medication was useless, so I stopped aggravating her with it. Of all the years of taking it, it still aggravated her last nerve to have to take it. The very least I could do for her now was to cease and desist. I sat with her on my chest continually, with a bowl of water that I would offer her when she seemed thirsty. She slept a lot and I put my hand on her to make sure she still breathed, a lot. Family came in and visited her on her last evening. Although by now my poor girl couldn’t see, I could tell she was pleased they did. And I held her until she said goodbye.
You are probably judging me for not having her euthanised. I judged myself a bit over that as well. Truth is, I couldn’t afford to and there seemed something too unnatural about all the money I had spent to keep her alive for three years and then paying almost another 400.00 to have her “put down” [like some wild animal rummaging your chicken coop!]. She was my friend. She was family. She deserved the best I could do in my circumstances. Unfortunately, selling charms and wands do not make the best living so I did what I could do best for her…. I simply loved her to death.
And I have not gone one day since without telling her I love her. It has gotten somewhat easier because I have a new friend now, Pippa, a lovely feral calico creature who my daughter and I had saved from the streets just a few months prior to Chili’s death. I love her to bits but of course, not quite so much as I do Chili – yet. Still, I do adore her, and she is just about as loving and kind to me as my Chili was. I say “just about” because she is still getting her “sea legs” with me. I can tell every day that we get closer and that suits me fine. Best of all, I feel she is completely approved by Chili because they met shortly after Pippa and her wee sprog, Freya moved in with us. Chili was always fiercely protective of me and suffered no other cat to be near me, however, she sniffed Pippa’s nose, sat back and did not hiss at all! And thank goodness, to Pippa’s credit, she didn’t get hissy at the Grand Madame, either 😊
Happy [?] anniversary, my beloved friend. I’m sure wherever you are, you are still fierce. And I know we shall see each other again in some form or another. Either way, you are always in my heart, purring away, keeping me going. Because that’s what we have always done for each other… furever. xxxx