She was with me through tough times and I craved her presence after she’d gone. Getting her memorialised was the best way I could keep her with me
I am a proud Cat Lady. When my beloved Siamese of 16 years died in 2020, I realised immediately that I couldn’t live productively without a cat. I was 41 and had had her since I was 24, my entire adult life until that point. I not only mourned Lilu, but I craved the endorphin hit of feeling fur against my skin. The comforting way she’d walk across me in my sleep, waking me multiple times in the night, more so towards the end, than my very young children. I longed for the affection she offered my ankles as I filled her bowl, the endless hours I’d spent alone as a writer with her next to me, curled up in a ball, ready for me to bury my face into her when the frustration of a blank page became too much to bear.
I missed keeping her alive, which was one of the things I was most proud of in my whole life. I’d have done anything for that cat, often sacrificing my own need for food for hers when I was in my 20s and broke. I have lost people in my life and sadly know grief and its vicious claws very well, but Lilu dying was different. The world had not lost someone, I had. I felt quite isolated. The words “it was just a cat” were what I feared people were saying behind my back when I couldn’t stop talking about it, no matter how hard I tried.