On Saturday November 28th, my cat passed away. To some, that might seem like a minor thing. As if to say, well at least it wasn’t a family member or your spouse. But my cat was my world. I doted on him from the time he was six weeks old. He’d had a rough week with his health prior to his death. He’d been diagnosed with diabetes in 2014 and I followed the doctor’s orders to the letter.
Four days on, I’m slowly starting to accept that yes, I did everything I could for him. That yes, he was sick. That yes, it was likely a diabetic episode that got him. And that yes, he knew he was loved.
Hamlet was not any ordinary cat, to me. He came into my life during a big transition: moving out on my own for the first time. I’d done dorm life in college and even had a summer apartment during college. But this was actual living on my own, just me and Hamlet. I still battle clinical depression (without the need for meds now, but I know that can change without warning), and he was always there when I hit my low lows and when I had my best times.
As a writer, I always say he was my best editor. I remember sometimes reading parts of my books aloud and watching his reaction. More than once,he dozed off and I laughed while noting that in that particular chapter. There were times I’d be all set up to start typing and he’d jump in my lap, wiggle in between me and the laptop and give me the most adorable look possible. How could I refuse that adorable little face?
There were the nights I’d go to bed and he’d sit outside the bedroom door and howl. All because I didn’t think his food bowl was empty enough or his litter box dirty enough. He used to wait outside that same door every morning and follow me around until my shower. Then, he’d wait, trying to hide, for his insulin shot before I left for work.
We’d watch TV together, listen to music together, and nap together. He was a cuddler and he demanded affection like no other pet. In turn, I doted on him and spoiled him a little bit rotten. Okay, a lot rotten.
Hamlet in some ways taught me how to love again. it’s a long story for another time, but I had some kind of awful stuff happen to me as a kid. The cat we got while growing up was supposed to teach me the art of love again, and it some ways, 8Ball did. But Hamlet really made a difference in my life. He really taught me about love and affection and what it means to care about someone.
The day he passed, I’d given him his insulin before leaving the house for a day full of errand running with my SO. He’d had a checkup that Friday and the vet was talking about remission of diabetes and had allowed me to take him down one full unit of insulin. We left the house at 10AM and got back around 415 or 430 that afternoon. He didn’t raise his head when I put my purse down and said “hey, Hamlet!”. At that point, I looked at him and I think I knew. My SO went into the bedroom for something and I checked on Hamlet. He was lying in his chair, sound asleep…forever. His chair was his favorite place in the world to be next to my lap. I’m thankful that he was home and that he was in his favorite place.
In time, I’ll get his ashes back. It won’t replace him, but it will hopefully help with the pain of his loss. As the days go by, I’m slowly coming to terms with his passing. He was quite ill at the end, and while that’s not a big comfort, I know that he went out on top of his game. I’m at peace knowing he knew he was loved. And in time, I’ll know that I did everything possible for him.
I’ll never forget my little guy. I’ll always have good memories of our 13 years together. And I’ve got enough pictures to last a lifetime. Nothing will bring him back, but he’s at peace now. And hopefully, he’s found a sunny spot on a porch to curl up and sleep in. Because next to his chair, that was his other favorite thing to do.
I love you, Hamlet. =)