Rosie, my beautiful, feisty, irreplaceable friend
by Lyn Brown
My mum's friend's cat had just had babies, and my son, then aged 5, wanted a pet, so we picked the runt of the litter, a black and brown tortoiseshell, so tiny and fragile, and, when asked what he wanted to call her, my son looked at the flowers in my garden and said 'Rosie - after the roses', so that is how she came into our lives, and our hearts, and that's where she stayed for the next 14 years. We have so many happy memories of her, so many funny little ways, and she was so loving and gentle. She was feisty, too. She would see off cats half her size, and run back indoors sideways, growling all the way. We were in fits of laughter as she cavorted around the house and garden, so full of life. In the evenings, she would curl up on the nearest available lap, and go to sleep, purring like a little engine. When I went to bed, she would curl up right next to my head, and there she would stay for the rest of the night. She would occasionally sleep on my son's bed, and I would often peep around the door and see them together, my son's arm around Rosie, her head resting on his arm. It really warmed my heart. One day, when Rosie was 14, my mum commented that her sight didn't seem too good, as she often felt around trying the find the sofa, before jumping on to it, and often missed it altogether. We rearranged the furniture slightly, and despite her failing sight, she seemed happy enough, and still loved to sit on our laps, although we dare not let her outside in case she got lost. Three weeks ago, she tried to jump on to the pouffe as usual, but missed, and instead of coming to me, she went upstairs, and hid under my son's bed. I left her to calm down, and went up later to see how she was. She had moved from under the bed, so I sat on the sofa in my son's room, gently stroking her, when suddenly she went into a horrific seizure, her body and limbs thrashing wildly. It didn't last long, but she seemed very confused, and couldn't move her legs very well. I called my friend, and she came with me to the vet, and he did a blood test on Rosie, and the results said her kidneys were failing. He also said he could feel a lump on her kidney and couldn't rule out a tumour. She was very weak, drooling, and couldn't stand properly. When I looked at her face, her eyes looked totally blank, she wasn't there any more, if that makes sense. My Rosie had gone, even though she sat there in front of me. My bright eyed little girl didn't even seem to know I was there. I took the heartbreaking decision, on the vet's advice, to do the kindest thing possible for her, so I held her gently and told her I loved her, and as her body relaxed, my heart broke as hers stopped, ending her misery, but mine was just beginning. My son, now aged 19, was heartbroken, too. He had spent best part of his life with this little cat, and now she was gone. I miss her more than I ever thought possible, and the house seems so quiet without her there. How could such a small animal leave such a big gap in our lives? Easy, she gave us unconditional love and brought us such joy. Now she is strong and whole again, and running free over Rainbow Bridge. Wait for us, Rosie, because one day we'll meet you there, until then, my sweet friend, know that we always love and miss you, and thank the Lord for giving you to us. Pain is the price we pay for love, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.