A Childhood Pet . . .Where are they now?
When I was in grade seven my family drove to a house in the country to see some kittens. We planned to choose one kitten but when we got there there were 2 balls of fur running around and rolling on the floor. One, a little girl tabby and the other a black kitten boy with 2 white tufts - one at his neck and one near his bikini.
We went home with both. We named them Blackie and Rajah.
Despite being a family pet, Blackie became "my" cat. He slept on my bed, he ate fake plants in my room, he laid on my home work, and he chased my toes while I was trying to sleep.
As I got older my parents joked about how I would handle college without him. As I've mentioned in a previous post, in anticipation of my leaving for college, my parents bought me a stuffed teddy bear to make up for Blackie not coming along with me. It was never really my thing, it wasn't my cat, it didn't move or get excited when I got back from high school.
My last year of high school had finally arrived and I eagerly anticipated leaving home for the first time.
However, one night I was petting Blackie and I felt something funny. He had a lump.
I told my mom that he had a lump on his back and she petted him as well and said she couldn't feel anything at all. I continued to try to convince myself that it was nothing until it started getting bigger. . .and bigger. . .until my mom said she thought maybe she should take him to the vet.
It was cancer.
I went away to college excited but at the same time concerned about my cat. I thought of him daily as he started treatments for his cancer.
When I came home that October for Thanksgiving I saw him in his usual spot laying on my bed. However, he wasn't the same cat I'd left. He was thin now and his black coat wasn't as shiny as before. He looked sickly and I was afraid to touch him as he lifted his weak head to greet me. My mom had laid a blanket on top of the bed because, as I now saw, his tumour was much larger and was now leaking grey fluid everywhere. I cried when I saw him.
Before I left home to return to school I told him I loved him, I told him I'd see him soon, I told him to get better.
About one week later I was walking back to my dorm room from the variety store nearby when a feeling swept over me. It's the weirdest thing I've ever felt, like a twitch in my heart, a tug, and I knew at that moment that he was gone.
As I returned to my room my bedroom phone was ringing. My mom confirmed my suspicions. Blackie had died "peacefully" only a few minutes before.
I couldn't sit in my room. I went into the stairwell of the residence tears pouring from my eyes, heavy sobs shaking my body.
I think I'll always miss him. Years later I was in a shelter and I saw a cat who reminded me of him. He had the same colouring - matching black with a little tuft of white on his neck and a little tuft near his bikini. I took him home that day and he became my own. We've been through a lot together.
Though I renamed him Scamper, his original name when he came into the shelter was Blackie.
The idea for this blog post came from a writing prompt from: