On Tuesday Luna – our beloved Chocolate Burmese cat – suddenly passed away.
Although I’ve lost cats before, the children grew up with him and have known him as long as they can remember. Most of us have, at some point in our lives, lost a beloved pet, but it’s particularly hard on children, and often their first experience of grief and loss.
As well as being a shock as painful as a punch in the gut, an unexpected loss like this is also a sage reminder of how fragile and fleeting life is and how it can all change in an instant.
Yet what Luna taught us about unconditional love has been priceless. Despite the heartbreak, knowing and loving him, watching him grow from full-on kitten into occasionally sedate senior has transformed us. A cat with a huge personality and a bottomless capacity for love, every day, he made us happy. Now, we smile at all those memories.
For Luna, it’s now cat heaven with no more painful bouts of pancreatitis, or humiliations being dressed up in silly Christmas hats or monthly flea treatments or the poking and indignities of rectal thermometers at the vets.
Being a pragmatic sentimentalist, it’s worth listing here, the things I, as primary cat-caregiver, won’t miss:
- The litterbox cleaning.
- The cat puke surprises I’d find on the carpets or down the backs of couches.
- The gifts of fleas collected in the garden.
- The occasional dismembered cockroach delivered to a bed in the middle of the night.
Nothing of course, compares with what we will all miss.
- That Burmese meow which sounds like a tortured peacock.
- That furry bundle that was always somewhere – sleeping on a bed, a couch, a chair or stretched out in bliss on the deck in the sun.
- The tinkle of his collar and the shrieks of the myna birds that heralded his return from his territorial inspections.
- The sudden shake of the bed in the middle of the night as he arrived or departed on one of his bed-hopping sprees.
- The beautiful sight of him snuggled up next to a sleeping child.
- The cuddles, the purrs and leg-rubs and that cat-smile that was one part smug, nine parts bliss.
So much about life is choosing how we react to the curve-balls it throws at us; how we approach love and process its inevitable sorrows. This wonderful article on resilience says it all.
Finally, here’s to thirteen years of love with a cat so special, he must have been made just for us. What a Chocolate Burmese ride. Thank you Luna for everything.