GhostCat: Where are YOU?

There will never be a perfect time to have a pet. I am being bombarded by offers from my friend Andrew who works at a cat sanctuary – He has found a lovely little affectionate cat called Bounce. I don’t even feel like visiting. I am so tired. I don’t think this will be a good time to bring cats into a still grieving home.

Bella has been my (almost) constant companion. For a decade she has been by my side. (Apart from my trip to America and Europe when Bella stayed in Birmingham with my parents). But I thought about her, I dreamed about her.

But Bella was a stubborn little Madam and would make me endure lots of silent treatments when I returned which were resolved when Bella felt that she had made me suffer enough. She wasn’t nicknamed ‘Bratcat’ for nothing.

I know I will never find a cat like Bella again. One night, back in 1996, I opened the front door to let a friend out and, as the friend left, this little white cat invaded by apartment. She slipped through the door and let out a piercing miaow, a miaow that said ‘I’m here and I’m here to stay’. And stay she did for eleven years. A lady downstairs had one more cat than she needed. The youngest(Bella -6) was being bullied by the Top cat. So, she came to live with me. Melissa, her first rescuer, told me that she’d been wandering Mill Road – emaciated, with no fur on her back legs – when she found her. She took her back to her flat and was surprised to find that she was house trained. She had also been spayed. My neighbour nursed her back to health but cats can be fickle creatures and Bella began to explore other flats in a bid to find herself another home. Bella had made up her mind. Every night she stood outside my door calling for me to let her in. I did. And every night she came. I made an agreement with her human who found it difficult to have to deal with night after night of hissing, spitting, snarling.

So she surrendered and brought Bella to me. She sat perched on my chest that night and the purrs she emitted soothed me into a sleep devoid of dreams. She became a permanent fixture in my life, almost to the exclusion of everyone else. And she was loyal to the end. She died in her sleep. Next to me. The best way to die some say. I’m not so sure. Doubts are setting in

If anybody’s interested Bella was 17

More Later

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5 Responses to “GhostCat: Where are YOU?”

  1. farouche Says:

    Farouche the Smallest (I’m named after her) was 15, and she died fighting. no one of us was around at the moment. she lived with my parents, but for weeks after she passed away I had the feeling of another small, silent guest around my own house.

    I find hard to believe in that kind of icky pictures of a Pet’s Paradise (or Rainbow Bridge, or watchamacallit) that everybody hasten to suggest when you lose a furry loved one, but… wouldn’t it be great if BellaCat and Farouche the Smallest were chumming up together somewhere, quietly purring side by side like two old ladies in a knitting circle, and looking down at their humans?

    if you feel like talking sometimes, drop me a line at: farouche (at) point44 (dot) it. I’ll be glad to hear from you.

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  2. David Duff Says:

    “I know I will never find a cat like Bella again.”

    Of course you won’t, but you will find another cat with a wholly different but delightful character if you take up your friend’s suggestion. I think you need a cat, and there are many cats out there that need you. Go for it!

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  3. farouche Says:

    actually, your friend’s work at a cat’s sanctuary could be useful, if they accept temporary volunteer help. cats are beautiful and lovely creatures in themselves, and tending to some “stranger” cats in a “stranger” environment that is not your house could be a comfort and a help to heal the loss.

    but then again, the first thing a person in grief does NOT need is to have somebody else telling her what she *should* do, so feel free to ignore my advice 😉

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  4. Louise Mills Says:

    Thanks for your advice, David and Farouche. We have decided to leave it a while. I am going to Canada for rather a long time in the summer and it seems unfair to leave a cat on his own just after he has been adopted. I think my friend would love it if I took the entire cat sanctuary off his hand.

    The Rainbow Bridge is a compelling idea but a little too ‘neat’ for me. I sometimes think I ‘feel’ her presence.

    Regards
    ‘rie

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  5. a squirrel on tour Says:

    Sorry to hear about Bella. You must be devastated

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