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  • Writer's pictureSparkling Diamond

A Tribute To The Cat Who Chose Me



My cat for which I want to write this tribute showed up at my door at 11:30 on a Sunday night. I had just gotten back from a weekend in WV, where at the time I was attending church, a 3 hour drive one way. I was just getting ready for bed when I heard her meowing and so I gave her some milk. She wanted to come into the house badly which made me think it was a housecat that had been abandoned. She was a very pretty orange and white cat and I didn't know that she would help me on my healing journey.

The last picture I have is from the middle of May 2022, almost a year ago. This is what I'd like to say to her if I could.

A Tribute To My Cat

You came to my door late at night and wanted to come in, but I didn't let you because I knew nothing about your background and I felt bad about it. I gave you milk because I didn't have anything else to feed you. You loved to be petted.

You loved to sit on my lap. You were almost always waiting for me when I got home and it meant so much to me. Sometimes you would disappear for a few days and I would get scared that you wouldn't come back or got hit on the road; but you always came back.

I never gave you a name. I had rarely named an animal.

I was embarrassed when people asked me what your name is and I had to say you dont have a name.

I wish I would have named you but I didn't know how.

When you came you made me realize that I knew nothing about how to take care of an animal. In Mennonite culture, animals are just objects to be treated however one wanted. It reminded me of the time as a young girl, maybe between 8 and 10, when there was a sick kitty in the barn and my dad told me to take it out back and kill it. I tried throwing it against a rock and watched as it tried to walk (towards me I think) dazed. It's one eyeball was hanging out. I couldn't stand it.

It tore at my whole being.

It went against everything in my being to be so brutal to an animal, and yet I needed to obey my dad. I dont know if I managed or not. I guess it rather traumatized me.

It made me remember all the times I watched my dad kill sick calves with a few well placed hammer blows to the head.

It reminded me of dad beating the cow and horse till they nearly went crazy because they didn't do what he wanted.

It reminded me of so many painful things. It left me feeling helpless.

I did not know how to treat you.

There were times that I tried to gently kick you out of the way so you learn not to hang around my feet when I'm walking. I hated doing it but I also didn't want to trip over you.

You could have gone somewhere else but instead you stayed. You loved me. You stuck close to me when I was working outside and it helped me feel safer with another set of eyes to watch for danger.

You would take walks with me and I loved your company. I tried to understand you and give you what you needed. I'm sure I failed many times.

Often I wished to let you in the house. I would have loved the company when I was lonely. But I was afraid of what would happen if I did because I didn't know if you were litterbox trained. I also cleaned one too many houses as a teenager that had cat hair everywhere and it ruined my desire to have animals in the house.

Then when I moved I brought you along. You did not like the cat box I borrowed to put you in and I felt so bad for you but I really wanted to bring you with me.

I would feed you in the morning and evening. There were other cats around and I didn't want to feed the whole neighborhood so I didn't give you a lot. The neighbor also said that they had a cat and that they fed it and then it caught mice in the barns. I wanted you to do the same and since I wanted you to do the same I didn't feed you till you had enough. I didn't know enough about cats and how to tell if they aren't getting enough food and I feel like I starved you.

I've been feeling so guilty about it after you disappeared.

Then a black cat with white feet appeared and would bother you so much. At night I would hear you fighting. I wanted to come rescue you. And then one night it sounded as if you were fighting for your life. It ripped my heart. I tried to peer through the darkness to see if I could see you.

I wanted to kill the cat that was torturing you but my fear of the darkness was bigger than my desire to protect you. I'm so sorry.

After that, I haven't seen you again. I would peer into the bushes where I last heard you but I saw nothing. If I could have seen you dead, it would have brought closure. Ever since I've tried to not think about you but time and again I would miss you so bad.

I didn't let myself think much about you and how badly I miss your affection and the warmth and purring as you would lay on my lap. It was like a piece of my heart was locked away.

It hurt too much to accept that you probably won't be back even though I tried to tell myself that.

This morning I went out the door to go to work and there was a stray cat sitting on my porch. I scared it but instead of running away it came toward me and rubbed against me like you used to do. I thought that maybe it was hungry so I gave it some of your food that I hadn't had the heart to give away because

I would've felt so bad if you would've come back and I had no food for you.

As I walked to the car I realized that my heart was not ready to love another cat. I still loved you and I still miss you so bad and I feel so guilty for not feeding you better.

As I was thinking about how to let my heart heal in this area, I thought of writing you a tribute( even though it's more like a letter now.). Just thinking about writing you a tribute reminded me of the time I wrote a tribute to my mom and dad and it made me angry. It was because my unlicensed counselor at an unlicensed facility made it my fault that I was where I was, that my parents did their best and I should now honor them. It didn't matter that they were abusive. I was to blame for their treatment and since the past is the past I can now honor them and show my appreciation. Now I regret it.

It was blatant denial of the actual situation.

All day I kept thinking about you and how much I missed you. I thought of how you helped me in ways I cannot describe and how much I miss you. It was hard not to cry while I was at work. Some of the memories also made me feel nauseous like when dad said I was supposed to kill that sick kitty and just the result that is etched in my brain of that poor kitty so hurting. )

I wondered what you would want me to do because I feel so guilty to let another cat take your place. It feels so wrong. I am not ready to let go of you. And I don't know if I can love another cat as much as you.

I dont know if my heart has enough room for both of you.

I dont know if this new cat is still around. I didn't see it when Icame home from work. But somehow I want to go out and see if I can find it somewhere. I want it to have a home. I made some supper but it sits on the table getting cold.

I have no appetite and I sit here crying, longing to feel you in my lap again, your purring vibrating against my body.

Sometimes people would make fun of how much people cared about their pets. I remember someone, maybe my dad, say, "Well, you know what dog spells backwards." But... but I didn't realize how much a place you had in my heart. When I didn't know how to have relationships with people I could come home and without question you would just love on me and it helped me feel better and like someone cared about me and really actually wanted to be with me.

You helped me so much. And I didn't even know it.

Thank you for being my friend when I had no one. When I didn't know how to trust, you trusted me. When I was lonely you wanted to sit on my lap and be petted. When I was hurting you stayed close.

Only now can I see how much you helped me and my heart aches with grief at losing you.

I was not planning to write this to you tonight. I had other things I wanted to do. But because that cat showed affection to me this morning, it split the door to the place in my heart you hold wide open and now maybe healing can begin. I think I will always miss you but maybe soon my heart can have room for both of you.

If you are still alive, I hope you found someone else who loves you and knows better how to care for you than I did.

Thank you for choosing me. I rarely am chosen. But you chosing me and loving on me again and again in the time we had together did something to my heart so hidden away from years of abuse and emotional neglect. You have no idea and neither do I the impact you have had on my life. Thank you...

from the bottom of my heart. I will always remember you.

#animalabuse #cat #healing #abuseawareness #trauma #traumasurvivor #thepainofhealing #emotionalneglect #helpless #grief #brokenheart #traumahealing

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