I know this isn’t one of my typical posts, but bear with me….
About a month ago, I lost one of the loves of my life. My Cat Prince.
I came home and he didn’t greet me at the door like usual. I had a strange feeling in my stomach…something just didn’t seem right. But I convinced myself that I was being ridiculous and figured he was just asleep on my bed. I searched the bedroom…then the closet room…even the bathroom before panic really started to set in. As I walked back into the living room, I saw him sleeping by a table. I breathed a sigh of relief, but as I called out his name I realized something wasn’t right. He didn’t move at all. I got closer and called to him again…and nothing. My heart sunk. When I reached out to touch him, he was rock solid.
It felt like my whole world came crashing down on me. It was, by far, one of the worst days of my life.
I got Prince in 2007 from a woman in DUMBO, Brooklyn. She said her ex-husband bought him for their daughter, not realizing that she was allergic to cats. They had to get rid of him ASAP. His picture was so cute! He looked so tiny, with these big ears, a cute little pink nose, and the biggest most beautiful blue eyes I’d ever seen on an animal.
When I got to her apartment to meet him, he still had an adorable pink nose, big ears and big beautiful blue eyes…but he was HUGE. He was bigger than most small dogs I’ve seen. I thought “there’s no WAY this is the same cat…and he can’t be only a year old!” His name was originally Peppito, but I hated that name. So, as a nod to his big doe eyes, I decided to name him after my favorite artist. I also thought “the Cat formally known as…” was fun to say.
The first night with Prince was AWFUL! He wouldn’t stop Meow-ing!! After a few hours, I was in tears thinking, “What the hell did I get myself into??” I thought there was something wrong with him. I was convinced that that devil woman had set me up. Besides the fact that I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep (he had the loudest meow EVER), I wasn’t allowed to have cats in my apartment and I was SURE he was going to get me kicked out.
The next day I was so stressed at work, worrying about the eviction notice that was going to be on my door from him meowing all day. When I came home, he was asleep on my futon like nothing had happened.
After that he started sleeping at the foot of my bed, then right next to me, and after a couple of years, he decided that his favorite spot to sleep was on my chest…or my legs…or my stomach…as long as he was on top of me.
Prince was the most amazing cat in the world. He never scratched the furniture, he wouldn’t hurt a fly (or a bug unfortunately). He greeted me at the door every day, and he followed me around the house like a puppy. He would constantly “talk” to me, and based on the conviction in his voice, I was pretty sure he thought he was speaking English. He wasn’t my “Pet” and he wasn’t just a “cat” to me, Prince was my family.
For 7 years, he was my snuggle buddy and my homework partner.
He was the first thing I saw in the morning, and the last thing I saw at night.
He was my best friend. My companion. My favorite thing in the whole world. I always thought my future children would get the chance to meet him, but for some reason our time together was cut short.
Losing Prince has left a hole…a big empty space in my heart that will never be filled. They say that “time heals all wounds” but I don’t agree. I think that, in time, you just get used to your wounds and you learn how to coexist with them.
Even a month later, I still can’t believe that he’s gone. There are times that I still expect him to be waiting for me when I get home, or I’ll roll over onto a pillow and think it’s him. And then reality sets in and the sadness hits me like a ton of bricks. But I take comfort in knowing that he died peacefully in his sleep. That I snuggled with him on his last morning alive…that I gave him a kiss goodbye and told him I loved him and I’d see him later.
I know I’ll get another cat eventually – I can’t imagine my life without an Animal in it – but they will never be able to take his place. He was truly a once in a lifetime type Cat.
Enjoy your final Cat Nap my sweet Prince. Mommy misses you so much.