Miss You Forever by Jessica McColl

I have written and re-written this post so many times in my head, never quite certain of the right words.

As many of you know, recently I lost my beautiful, boofy boy Mr. Bean. It has been just over one month and to say that I am devastated would be this years’ grandest understatement. I actually drafted a post the very next day to express my gratitude at the out pouring of love on the facebook page (thank you!). I can’t even bring myself to re-read it. I was in such a bad place.

My home feels so empty without him in it and adjusting to life without him has been really tough.

This has been my daughter’s first experience of the death of a loved one. Many advised me to tell her that ‘he went on holidays’ or that ‘he went to see him mummy’ (excuse me, but I am his mummy!) I decided to tell her the truth. Well, a Disney version of the truth. I told her that he got sick and died and then he went to heaven to play with all the other cats up there. I told her following day when I could tell her and not be hysterical myself. There were so many questions that followed and she was deeply upset.

They were the best of friends.

I really questioned myself for revealing the truth and experiencing the depth of her feelings for him upset me even more, however I stand by my decision. Death unfortunately, is a part of life and sooner or later we all have to learn of it.

Every now and then she will say something which catches me off guard. In the recent school holidays we were drawing and she asked if it was still ok to draw him now that he has gone to heaven. Together we then drew a picture of him in heaven and talked about what it was like. She drew a picture next to him of the cat down the road from my grandparents who also passed away some six months ago, stating that perhaps they are now friends. So much for everyone trying to tell me that she wouldn’t understand.

When Beanie had surgery almost a year ago, my other cat Macy fretted terribly. She searched the house and called for him all night, each night he was at the vet. I anticipated that this was going to be really tough on her. Instead, she didn’t look for him once, she became a super smooch as though she was trying to heal us. I really believe she knew something was wrong long before we did. One morning I found her sitting in the cat carrier he made his final trip in. She usually runs for her life the second she sees it.

I still worry about her, she gained so much confidence from having him around. She would often look to him for cues as to whether a certain situation was safe (Macy is scared of her own shadow) and I do think she often feels lonely. We originally decided to adopt Bean 8 months after we got Macy to keep her company. We had found that there was real desperation to see us when we got home from work. His arrival meant they were both ecstatic to see us, but the desperation was no longer there. Now he has gone, it is like she has taken a step backwards and is straight back to being desperate to see us when we get home and fearful in many situations.

The grief we experience when we lose a pet is something we need to talk about more. As a community of feline lovers I think it is obvious to many of us that nine lives will never, ever be enough. But some people just don’t get it. I implore you, when the time comes, find those that can understand and commiserate with you.

The greatest healing came for me when talking to someone who works in a cat rescue shelter. I told her that we had lost him and that I was devastated. How could I have let this happen? She who advocates feline welfare and rescue couldn’t save her own cat. I felt unworthy to ever write on this blog again.

She opened up to me that the same thing happened to her, she always looks out for any signs of illness in shelter cats yet missed it completely in her own. She told me she understood. That she knows exactly how I feel. She asked me details about him; what he looked like and what he was like. She promised to come on here and have a read about him in life. That conversation, with a stranger no less, made so much difference to me.

The title of this blog features the last words I spoke to him on this earth.

Miss your forever Beanie xx