We all have those friends who come into our lives under odd circumstances, but turn out to be invaluable to us. For nearly 14 years, one of my invaluable friends has been a large orange tabby.
Last week, I wrote about the power of fighting for a loved one, against all odds. But, love can only help one fight for so long, and last night, my friend passed away in his sleep. It is fitting that the rain started not long afterwards and lasted all through the night.
Long before I had my spouse in my life, I had my furry friend to greet me when I came home and give me support when I needed it. Some say, if you want a real best friend, adopt a dog, but they never met my cat.
Sure, we had our arguments, like when he decided to sleep on our freshly-cleaned laundry, and our relationship was often complex. But, he was always patient and kind, even when his health started to decline, and he was often found sleeping under my desk or next to my chair when I was writing. In his opinion, I was the greatest writer in the world.
Few could ask for a better friend than he was, but now the story of our friendship has drawn to a close.
Although the deep sense of loss that I feel makes it hard to breath sometimes, I know my friend wouldn’t want me to let my pain fester. So, I will dig into it and make it something more productive. I will make it fuel for my writing. After all, what better outlet for grief and pain than the dark fantasy and horror that I write?
In that way, like a release valve, I can use my writing to slowly let go of the grief. I can’t write the hurt away, but through my writing, I can spread out and make it much less toxic. In that way, I can be kind to myself as my friend was always kind to me and make the hurt feel just a little better.
R.I.P, my friend - March 1999 - November 2015