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Saying Goodbye

Yesterday I said goodbye to a precious friend - my pet #cat Aislinn Dreamer. I can still remember the day my mother purchased her for me, which is interesting, since a lot of this time period is actually a blur for me. I had been struggling with depression due to my situation around school and on this particular day my mother and I were at the local shopping mall. Back then, there used to be a pet shop there and they'd often sell animals - displaying them in the windows.

On that day we walked past the pet shop, I just stopped dead in my tracks, staring at this little kitten in the window. She was the smallest kitten in the bunch of rambunctious, crazy kittens. She sat alone, not playing with her siblings, wistfully looking out into the stream of people passing by with a glazed 'dreamy' look on her face.

I fell instantly in love.

My poor mother.

Oh, my dear, dear mother.

Yes. I walked out of that shopping mall with a kitten.

There was a bit of drama when we got home.

Aislinn and I were attached at the hip. She stayed in my room, slept on my pillow, I carried her around with me. She was tiny and could fit on my lap while I typed in bed. She remained a very small, delicate cat - which was good, because she never grew out of sharing my pillow at night.

She terrorised our other cat, Shadow, something dreadful. Poor darling Shadow.

And she got along fabulously with Cuddles, the Dog.

Pet's mean different things to different people.

A small part of me has always been ashamed of fitting into that stereotype of a 'single cat lady' - and no joke, I fit into that stereotype very, very well. But in an empty house, with only your voice, you'll be surprised how precious a cat is in the oppression of a lonely day or night. Just the mere presence of something else seems to fundamentally shifts the very air. Maybe it's just my imagination. But that's how it's felt to me.

For a month or so when I moved into my new house I lived without Aislinn - we did not know if she would make the move well due to her age - but I missed her so much - and it seemed like she missed me as well since all she did as lie curled up in one spot in the garden just...waiting...

So, it seemed to her age worked in our advantage. I decided to keep her indoors, and only walk her on a leash if she wished it. We jokingly called my new house her "retirement home".

Looking back at the beginning of 2019 in my journals, I wrote about Aislinn therein, and an odd sense that I was feeling like perhaps this year might be her last. It's strange when you keep journals and are able to reread them and get an arc of your own life. This has happened to me time and time again.

Aislinn was always there.

She was like a shadow.

Whenever I was crying she would pop up, seemingly out of nowhere, to remind me everything was going to be okay. When I was sick, and so alone, unable to get medication from the shops because - well - you're single and there is no one to get medication for you when you're single - she would curl up with me on my pillow.

A lot of people don't like cats because they can be mean, nasty and 'arrogant' - but Aislinn's temperament was one of kindness - and perhaps as she got older, a little bit of tolerance towards us humans.

Dearest Aislinn. You are, and always will be, my dearest friend. Thank you for being my cat.

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