IMG_0015Sometimes I hate how life works.

Someone thumped my door on a dark and wintry night this week. It was never going to be good news.

I mentally ran through who it could be. The Teenager was safely upstairs killing zombies, Ocado had already delivered and we never seem to get political canvassers here, although I was more than ready to take them on.

I answered the door, pulling my cardigan around myself. A frantic woman stood there, pointing at the road, ‘do you have a black cat? About this big?’ She made a tiny size with her hands. I could see by her face it was hopeless.

I rushed down the path but I was too late – my beautiful constant companion, Dora, had already died. She had been knocked over. Gone. Just like that, in an instant.

I hope I don’t sound too melodramatic. For me, cats are special when you have MS and spend more time than usual at home. She slept on my bed every night, we tussled over duvet rights, she brought presents of half-chewed mice and birds which she laid reverentially in front of me. When I slept in the afternoon, she would curl up on my feet on the sofa, her purrs competing with the nerve pulsing aches.

We listened to Tweet of the Day together every morning on Radio 4 before breakfast. She defended our cottage, a not insignificant feat for a cat so utterly tiny. She basked in the slices of sunlight beaming on to my desk when I was agonising over an essay for university. In short, she was present.

Outside my house, I gathered her in my arms, called my mum (aren’t mums great?), and we mourned together. Dora adored her and could hear her footsteps a mile off. In vain, we took her to the vets. The nurse checked her over, re-wrapped the blanket I had taken her in and sadly handed her body back to me. Would I like cremation? No.

My boss and friend helped me bury her today, just outside my window, in the spot she slept in during the summer months. We talked about when I adopted her from Cats Protection. When I got her home, she seemed so entirely comfortable within just half an hour, as if she was meant to be here. And she was.

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22 thoughts on “Gone

  1. tony cardis says:

    So sorry, for me it’s dogs so Bert the Basset and me send our commiserations x

  2. Peter says:

    I have two cats brother and sister and I know how great companions they are. Im sorry for your loss and remember the times of joy your Dora brought to you. My cats when im down and not myself they know and never leave my side unconditional love. They swipe at me when im leaving the house and at the door when I come back, meowing asking me where have you been, what took you so long, did you bring us a surprise and feed us we are starving …. sounds like my boys. memories are forever !!!

  3. Jenny wilson-best says:

    Oh I’m so sorry. I really feel for you. I’ve had this horrible experience with two of my cats and I know how heartbreaking it is.
    I agree that as MSers we spend a lot more time at home sitting or lying down so our little cat is our constant companion.
    My heartfelt condolence to you.
    Jenny x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you! It really is so different for us I think. Definitely a constant companion. I miss her dreadfully.

  4. Tricia says:

    It is a very sad time, so sorry, xx

  5. Sue says:

    I have been through it with cats and dogs I am sorry this has happened to Dora. Xx

  6. Archie says:

    so sorry for you. we lost ours 6yrs ago and couldn’t bring ourselves to have another even though we love them. our ‘chap’ was special to us. x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      I know what you mean. Me and Teenager have been talking. We can’t bear to even think about adopting another cat right now. Dora was just so full of life and such a huge part of our cottage. Still can’t believe she’s gone.

  7. Sue Johnson says:

    Lovely piece of writing about poor Dora and you. I’m so sad for you ….. Such a shock for you. too. Take care x

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thanks Sue. Rotten time. Am so glad though that I buried her right outside my window where she was happiest.


  8. Sally says:

    Animals are never ‘just’. They are family. Take care.

  9. stargzrblog says:

    So sorry to hear this sad news. What a beautiful cat Dora was. She lived a happy life full of love. ((Gentle hugs))

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