Thinking Back On A Life
I wrote this the day after I lost my friend, Xev.
I Am Lonely Without You
My little friend died yesterday. To some she would just be seen as a bit of fur. Just a pet. “Never mind, these things happen. Wait a while and get yourself a new one.”
She was my mate, my friend. I loved her. She loved me. We had a bond which is irreplaceable. Just like her. Irreplaceable. She was the love of my life. I wish I had found her in human form but you know, beggars can’t be choosers. The simple fact is we found each other and for six and a half years, we had each other.
I will miss the sound she made when she played with her toy. I will miss her bringing it to me as a gift. I will miss her cuddling up to me at night and hers being the first face I saw every morning. I will miss her purr. I will miss her little tiger’s roar – she never miaowed but instead gave a mini roar.
I will miss her smell – of linen sheets and loveliness. I will miss looking into her eyes and seeing the universe play out inside them. I will miss her squeezing my fingers with her paws. I will miss her laying on my side and peering at me from my shoulder even though it was the most uncomfortable position for us both to lay in. I will miss her markings which made it look like she was wearing a tuxedo.
But most of all, I will miss her. She stood just 10 inches tall yet she occupied a massive place in my heart. She was my everything. She was a complex and highly nuanced person housed in the smallest of frames and now she is gone. Our life together played out in an area no larger than 100ft by 60ft and yet the best memories I have ever had were contained within that space.
You will never be forgotten. If I live to be 100 you will likely be one of the last people I think about. Thank you for the memories we shared. Thank you for the love you gave. Your kindness. Your essence. Thank you for your physical presence here on Earth but most of all, thank you for the gift that was your life.
The date 1st September 2021 will be forever etched upon my sorrowed heart. I am lonely without you.
I loved you xx
I Miss You Xev xx
There has never been anyone like you.
I miss you Xev xx
What It All Boils Down To
I spent all of yesterday crying, worrying, regretting, wishing, thinking “I didn’t do enough” for my little fur pal, Xev.
I was remembering times when she came to visit with me but I was too busy working on things which felt oh so important at the time but actually weren’t at all because here I am and I could be doing them and all I feel is the palpable sadness and sense of loss due to the physical absence of my best friend.
That last day…
She was so frail. It took her a full half a minute to stand and yet when I awoke and called “Good morning Xev. Did you sleep well? Did you have nice dreams? I hope so” to where she was (which was sleeping on a chair about 10 feet away), I heard her jump down to the floor and make her way over to me. She climbed with great difficulty onto the sofa next to where I was laying on the floor.
I had been sleeping downstairs for months. I have another cat Bonnie but she (Xev) and her son Lexx would bully her so I would spend the days equally sharing time between them and then at night, I would sleep one night on the floor downstairs to be near Lexx and Xev and one night upstairs in bed to be with Bonnie. Usually though it was 4 nights with Xev and Lexx and 3 nights with Bonnie because Mum sleeps upstairs and there’s always company for her (Bonnie) at night.
So, going back to her last day (which I didn’t know was her last day) she jumped down from where she had been sleeping and walked over to where I was. She climbed up and over me with difficulty to get to the sofa and laid there right up close to me, where I stroked her and told her she was loved as I did every day. Lexx was on the sofa sprawled out beside her. I had said Good Morning to him too and told him he was loved. I never showed favouritism. Each cat got exactly the same amount of attention/affection. I just felt more of a closeness with Xev.
He soon got up and made his way outside. She stayed with me. Then it happened. She suddenly looked into my eyes and it was as if she was searching them. She had never looked at me like that before. It went on for about a minute and a half. I remembered the quote by Rumi – “What You Seek Is Seeking You.” In those precious moments, I became aware I was no longer looking into the eyes of a cat or even my best pal but rather the very depths of the Universe. I went into what I can only term a bliss state. I at first smiled and this made way for a grin. I beamed from ear to ear. We merged. There was no Xev and Jonathan. We were One.
It was at this point, she got up and it took a long time to do so as it was such an exertion for her. She moved across to where I was and climbed right up onto me so she was perched on my left arm (I was on my right side, looking towards the sofa where she had been), her little paws dangling over the edge of my shoulder and her little face looking down at me. I put my hand over her paws and she licked them. I stroked her from that very awkward position because she was laying on my left arm. I winked at her and she winked back. I had trained her to do that. She then began purring and did that long blinking cats do when they know they are safe and loved. I returned the compliment. Her purr was beautiful and contained within it so many frequencies.
We laid like that for perhaps 7 or 8 minutes and then I needed to get up. She slowly moved off and I went to have a pee, wash my hands and then went into the kitchen where I had a cup of tea. She came and stood just a few feet from me. She looked so small that morning. For some reason, I didn’t stroke her and that has bothered me however had she moved towards me, I absolutely would have done. She didn’t look up at me. Just stood there. She then went to get some water and I made my way through to the coffee table where I usually sat and used the computer.
She climbed up the armrest of the adjacent sofa just inches from where I was sitting and this exertion totally exhausted her. She half stood, half laid there shaking and panting. I moved across to her and kissed her left shoulder and she immediately began purring and leaned in to me. I told her she was loved, over and over again. That she meant the world to me. It was at this point I looked at Mum and we knew it was time.
I continued to hold her and told her she was loved, stroking her as she purred and continued to lean into me. I held her like this for 5 or 6 minutes before the carrier was placed in front of her. She fought against going in there, clinging to me. She wasn’t having any of it. Then I tried by lightly touching her paws and she let go immediately and got into the carrier with no issues at all. I didn’t know that would be the last time I would see her again or else I would have made a bigger fuss of her when she was inside the carrier. I regret not having done so.
I had no idea she was so close to death. They ran various tests at the vet’s and then she was sedated so she could be scanned. It was then they discovered she was ‘riddled with cancer.’ She was put to sleep very shortly afterwards and her passing was instant. She didn’t suffer at all.
I couldn’t be there when she died.
She died in the arms of a veterinarian, a stranger, because of all this Covid business.
She died just hours after I last saw her.
I regret not being around as much as I feel I could have been in the run up to her passing. I could have spent more time with her however when I think about it, I was there a lot of the time even if I wasn’t as actively present as I would have liked to have been and I slept down with her on the floor 4 nights out of every 7 each week. She lived in a warm, comfortable home with a beautiful garden and she was free to do as she liked. She had her toys which she loved playing with. She was told she was loved dozens of times each day.
So yes, I could have done things differently along the way but then I guess we could all say that however when it really mattered, I was there for her and when she signalled her quality of life was minimal, I absolutely did the right thing by her and I have zero regrets where that is concerned. So, with recriminations and regrets aside, what it all boils down to is that, at the end of the day, she knew in no uncertain terms, I cared about her and that she was loved.
A Grief Which Persists
On 1st September 2021, I lost the best friend I have ever had.
It was April of 2015 when I initially met her. I was outside in my garden and there she was, walking tentatively across the dew-laden grass.
She was a delight. Our eyes met and we held each other’s gaze for a few seconds and then she went on her way. I knew in that instant I had met someone important.
Every day from that point on, she would be out there. She didn’t let me touch her for a full 10 months but it didn’t matter, I would go outside just to be with her. Eventually, she let me stroke her albeit briefly and that was that. We held each other’s gaze once more. The strongest bond imaginable was forged in that moment.
Our life together began.
We built upon that bond and soon developed a rapport which was demonstrably affectionate. Tender.
Wherever I was, she was. Wherever she was, I was.
At night, she would lay up beside me and I would put my hand on her paw and she would squeeze my fingers and I would gently squeeze hers back.
She used to run towards me very much like a horse during dressage. She would hold her head up high, making eye contact and then run towards me in a sort of exaggerated yet entirely natural fashion. It was something to see. It would melt my heart every time.
She didn’t miaow, instead she would make a miniature roar type of sound. It was very cute.
I never showed favouritism with the other 2 cats in terms of time spent with them or cuddles and petting given however there was a very unique bond between us. It was as if she was a fully actualised person housed within the smallest cat body. She stood less than a foot high from the pads of her paws to the tip of her ears. She was tiny yet occupied a massive place within my heart.
Her loss has broken me.
I find myself standing outside looking for her, hoping that somehow I have got it wrong and that she is okay, alive and just lost and will soon find her way back home. I know this is not the case. I just can’t bear the thought I will never see or hear her again. I loved the sound she made when she played with her toy. Those adorable vocalisations filled the entire house which in turn became a home.
One tiny creature in the grand scheme of things, made the world of difference to me and at times, she was pretty much the only thing which kept me afloat. I suffer with depression. I live with autism. I am ‘different.’ I am ‘other’ where the human race is concerned. She saw through that. She saw me and clearly liked the person she found there and stayed by my side for nearly 6.5 years.
She was the love of my life and I miss her.
I miss her beautiful big round saucer eyes. I miss holding her close to me and hearing her purr and then feeling that purr resonate throughout my entire being. I miss her smell, which was of the garden, cookie dough, and freshly washed linen sheets all rolled into one.
She was magnificent. She was wonderful. She was kind. She was loving. She accepted me totally. She witnessed my meltdowns, and my tears. She sat with me during catatonic phases where I would stare blankly at the wall, sometimes for hours at a time. She did so without judgement. She did so because she wanted to be there, with me.
I miss seeing her run towards me and then me getting down to walk on all fours around the kitchen beside her. Always 3 times in a row which culminated on each lap with her rubbing her little face against the wall.
I miss her sitting in my lap and grooming while I stroked her. I miss watching her pause within that to look at me before going back to washing herself again.
I miss her sitting on the table in front of me, nonchalantly looking out the window yet knowing she was the centre of my attention, the epicentre of my world.
Xev is irreplaceable.
The grief persists.
I don’t just feel lonely without her. I feel alone.
I have lost the one person on this journey through life who not only truly knew me but who also completely understood me.
I was accepted. I was loved. So was she. I adored her. She was my everything.
The loss is unbearable.