Yesterday, Andy (Mr Monster) and I had our first real tragedy to deal with as a couple. Our beloved cat Lori died very suddenly, and it broke our hearts.
I will spare you the dramatic details of her passing, but will just say that she suffered a stroke at home, the stress of being transported to the vets bought on a heart attack and she died in Andy’s arms. Of course in the last day and a half we have gone through every emotion imaginable, from shock, to guilt, to anger and ultimately to shattering sadness.
Until having pets of my own, I never really understood the depth of love which a person can feel for an animal, and had this happened to someone I knew before experiencing pet ownership I would have taken the stance of ‘yes, that’s very sad, but it’s just a cat’. I now know that it is never JUST an animal. Pets become so much part of your life and of who you are, that the grief of loosing them is very real indeed.
Lori could never be described as just a cat. She was the first pet that either Andy or I had owned as an adult, and was symbolic of our commitment to one another in the early stages of our relationship. She was our baby, and when we first bought her home we were like nervous and clueless first time parents, bonding through shared learning of how to care for this little life. We grew her from a tiny wee 8 week old energetic fur-ball, into an elegant and beautiful 15 month old cat.
Her name was Lorelei, named after my favourite Marilyn Monroe role, as in my eyes she was as stunning as the lady herself. We called her Lori for short and she was also known by many silly nick-names including Loricopter, and Lori-pops; the latter spawned her very own theme song which we used to sing to her, to the tune of the song ‘Lollipop’. She had a calm and loving temperament and was a true Daddy’s girl. She was like a little shadow to Andy and would follow him around the flat. If he went into the bathroom she would sit by the door patiently waiting for him to come back out, and her favourite place to sleep was on his chest, in our bed. She would sit with me when I was sad, and would even sometimes perch on the back of the sofa and groom my hair.
She left us too soon, but we are now trying to focus on giving as much love as we can to Tilly, our other cherished kitty who we got as a companion for Lori after we’d had her for four weeks. They were thick as thieves, played together, slept together, and had a good healthy line in rough-and-tumble together. Watching Tilly look lost without her is almost as painful as having lost Lori. She has looked everywhere for her and she keeps thinking she hears her claws on the wood floor and pricking her ears up and craning to see where she is. I have spent the day cuddling her and playing with her as much as I can and I’m sure she will get used to things being different in time.
Andy and I were overwhelmed yesterday by the support we received from our families and friends in light of the traumatic and sudden way everything happened. Everyone rallied round with messages of support and lots of people came forward to keep us busy and distracted for the day which was exactly what we needed. Thank you to everyone for that. I think it was clear for all to see just how much we loved her.
I wanted to do a gallery of some of my favourite photos of her, but having written this I am now finding searching through pictures to be too painful. I will instead just leave you with our favourite picture of Lori, taken on her first birthday. The pose was one which she could often be found in at random locations around the flat and which made me chuckle every time. Goodbye my little Lori-pops, and sleep well.