The hardest goodbye

It’s been a week, and it still hurts.

Last Wednesday we said goodbye to the biggest, fluffiest loser I’ve ever met. Lucky came into my family as part of the first litter of our cat Alfie, and I was besotted from the word go. She was gentle, loving, and I don’t think anyone who met Lucky had anything bad to say of her.
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She and I were best buds. She was my fluffy alarm clock, and would come in to my room each morning when she’d been let into the house. She had her spot on the bed, and every Saturday morning of my school life was spent being spooned by my 11lb ball of grey fur.
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If everyone loved Lucky, she certainly loved them back. She was the biggest attention seeker I’ve ever encountered, and if a new face came to the house she was stuck to them like glue. When they’d leave, she came back to me as if I hadn’t just been betrayed by the love of my life.

Then, in November 2015, things started going downhill. On a trip back from Cardiff I noticed Lucky was limping. One of our other cats, Podge, has a limp as well, and that came from a fight. With Lucky, a fight wasn’t likely – she was too placid. I demanded she be taken to a vet.

A vet confirmed the worst – cancer. At best, Lucky had barely a year left in her. Each time I came back from Cardiff for a visit after Christmas, I prepared myself with knowing that this would be our final time together.

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Each time, she was still there waiting for me to come back. But tummy rubs, her favourite thing in the world (she would even hook her leg around your hand so you couldn’t escape) became less and less frequent. She wasn’t eating, so she lost all the paunch that made her my adorable little fatso. The week before she died, all she did was sit on my bed and just sleep the day off.

I came back from Cardiff on Tuesday, and the following morning she said her goodbyes. My Mam drove her to the vets in Dungarvan, and Lucky’s little face poking up from the passenger seat is my final time seeing her alive. Saying goodbye to her, having our final sleepover the night before, and our little family gathering in the hall before three became two broke my heart utterly.

There are still two cats here, and I fully intend to rescue a cat when I have my own home. But there will never be another Lucky, and I have memories with her that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Goodnight my angel.

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It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart

Elphaba, Wicked

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