I have not forgotten my scatty fluff-bucket, it’s just taken me this long to steady myself from the shock. But this post is important to me, not least to eulogise my pretty little cat, but because for those who don’t understand the devastation that the loss of a pet can bring I hope this helps give them some understanding.
Both RD and I have found the last two weeks to be very isolating. There are very, very few people that we have felt truly understand the way we feel, and so we have retreated away from others. But then I think that is grief, you put on the smiling face, you laugh, you see the funny sides of things, but there is and empty hole in you that others do not want to see. Add the fact that you are grieving the loss of an animal and that further compounds it. You see people’s eyes glaze over, because it was just a cat, just a dog, just two huge presences in your life that have left gaping vacuous holes. To those reading this with tears in their eyes because they are in the same boat as us, we get it, we understand. Perhaps Diddies story will help explain why the loss of a pet is now being recognised as great a loss as any other family member. ….
In August 2008 RD and I were struggling to survive, I permanently had one foot out of the door ready to run. We went on holiday to Cornwall, and on route we stopped in the pretty Market town of Aylesbury near Salisbury. We mentioned to a barmaid that we had been looking for a kitten and she took us to a tiny house where two teenagers were living. Their very young cat had kittens and we were invited to pick one. With that Diddies came over and sat on RD’s foot, and that was that, she chose us.
We quickly realised when we brought her home that she was only about five weeks old, not the eight weeks we had been told. But as always Molly took her under wing, and our old Welshie Snowy loved her, she literally slept in his bed with him.
She was clearly part rag doll, as she would just go floppy in your arms when you held her. In the fourteen years we had her she never once scratched anyone. Most importantly, at that time, we had made a commitment to her, I had made a commitment to her to look after her; and she became another reason, along with Tom, Snowy the Westie, and Milly and Molly to stay. I never regretted my decision.
Originally her name was to be Georgie, but as always with our animals her name evolved from the fact that she was so diddy, and we would tap her nose with a chew stick and say doof diddies, and that was that, Diddies was her name.
That Christmas I had two trees, one was black with Crystal and white decorations. She thought that tree was for her alone, and every evening when I came home from work she would be in the tree, with her pretty little face poking out, the prettiest bauble of all.
She was a skittish cat at times, and at times she was afraid of Daisy and Tilly. She was never happier than to lie in a warm sunny place on her own. She loved Montaigu, andwas a prolific mouser, and sadly bird catcher. She caught her last bird only the week before she died, not bad for a nearly fourteen year old geriatric cat.
She was my Audrey Hepburn cat, because she was so pretty, so elegant and always watched her weight.
Diddies gave me back hope, she showed me, at such a time of turmoil in my life, that new good things can come. I promised Diddies a wonderful life, and took her on adventures to live by the seaside, the countryside in France, and then on to Ireland. In her senior years she loved this little house, and her campy in the garage.
After RD found Diddies in the road, there was a moment when I almost lost my understanding of all the things I have learned, it was too much to lose two of our family in such a short space of time. But I know that where there is great joy there is inevitably great sorrow, where there is great love there is great pain. Is there ever a good way to die? I am just grateful that she was without any visible mark.
We buried Diddies in what is becoming a small orchard in our paddock. We wrapped her lovingly in a towel, and we added some of Snowy’s ashes in with her, he loved her so.We have planted a beautiful weeping cherry tree on her, and put tiny lights on it. She had to have something pretty after all.
Love you baby. Always have, always will.