In a short span of twelve years, I have kept fifteen different cats. I have kept different breeds of cats, from persian cats, to siamese and domestic mixed breed. All of them have distinctly different characteristics and require different types of care.
I once have a persian cat. I named him Shadowfax because he was suave like the horse in Lord of the Rings. He was grey and had long fur. I often had to groom him as his fur will get tangled up and he would cough out fur balls. He liked our grooming sessions and would purr adoringly. After grooming, he would play with the fur balls I made from the comb. He would bounce around and swipe the fur balls. This was the only time he was active. Shadowfax was a graceful cat and in the later part of his life, he enjoyed just sitting around. Sadly, I am no Gandalf, I could not save him when his liver failed and I had to watch him suffer. We had to make a decision and put Shadowfax to sleep. I could never decide whether euthanasia is a merciful act or me trying to play god. When the vet injected the deadly dose of anaesthetic, he was still purring as I was holding him. As he closed his eyes, I thought I could see a sign of goodbye, like he knew what was happening. I wished I never had to make that decision. But it was painful to watch him suffer as he could no longer eat and drink due to the ulcers in his mouth. I know that what I did was perhaps right but I still could not forgive myself.
Kate Moss was a siamese cat who was gentle and shy. She picked me at a local shop and followed me home. I realized that she was meant to be with me as she never developed any close relationship with anyone else. She lived a good ten years and towards the end of her life, she had to bear with daily bandage changing and medication. She was diagnosed with cervix cancer when we brought her for spaying. However, her livers were not in good condition, letting her go through operation will be risky, so she had to live with the cancer.
As time went by, the condition grew worse. Eventually the tumour burst and she had an open wound around her cervix. Because she was too old for operation, the only thing we could do for her was to ensure that her wound was cleaned daily and she was given antibiotics to prevent any infection. This went on for two months. Towards the end of her life, although she was battling cancer, she maintained a loving relationship with me.
One day I was hospitalized for seizures. I signed an AOR form to demand discharge from the hospital even though the doctors were against it. Just as I got home, Kate Moss passed away. I was a few minutes late and I believe she tried to wait for me as I was told that she was pacing around the house and mewing.
All these cats who have been in my life, each of them left a special place in my heart. Each one of them are unique and loved in different ways. None of them could replace the other, just like no other cats will ever replace them. Having pets in your life can be so joyful but when they leave, it could tear you apart.
This painful cycle goes for all relationships. We love and we cry when we part. No matter how painful the parting is, no matter how much we know that the parting will tear us apart, we still love. It is because we never give up loving that the world still has hope, a hope for a better tomorrow for all humans and animals. I love this love and I hope that I will continue to love and learn to love everything around me.