In loving memory of those missing or stolen
1 year ago today my beautiful handsome Harry, you went out for your evening stroll and you never came home. I had only two years with you in my life and I always thought we would be together for a lot longer. I still remember seeing you in Pod 3 in the cattery, you were brought in as an injured stray cat and your hair was very matted so your sides had been shaved giving you a very weird mohawk look, I remember thinking "oh dear lord what a straggly mess you look, people will walk on by and go to the prettier looking cats". I opened the door of your pod and you immediately snuggled against my face and started purring. I knew immediately you were going to mine.
I brought you home on a Saturday to meet Mia my other cat, you were quiet and gentle and she took to you immediately. She was a bit freaked out when you started playing with her toys as she was an only kitty up til then but she soon learned to share her toys and me. She showed you how to groom yourself and the two of you would snooze together and have fun running and chasing around our home. The two of you made me smile constantly. You loved your belly rubs and getting the top of your head kissed, you would rub your face against mine "giving me kisses". You would sleep on my bed and give me big cuddles before I went to sleep and then you would move down to sleep in your favourite spot on my bed. Every morning when I woke up you would run over all excited I was awake and purr and knead my duvet happily getting petted by me. You and Mia would run to the front door every time I came home and I couldn't get past the front door without giving both of you cuddles and kisses. You made me feel so loved.
When you were both a year and a half I brought home a very nervous 5 week old foster kitten, I assumed as the female Mia would mother her but you took on this role and Mia ignored her. I loved watching you play with her, groom her and you let her cuddle up to you when she was tired, she adored you and you adored her. I loved her but I kept thinking "how will I tell Harry that she is gone back to the shelter, he is a cat, how will he understand that his little buddy is gone". So Poppy joined our family and we became a family of four.
You were a real chatterbox and would tell me all about your day when I got home from work, I would ask you questions all about your day and you would chat away back to me, I used to think my neighbours must think I am a complete loony talking to my cat all of the time. You looked your food especially wet food and you would come skidding around the corners on the wooden floor when I called you for dinner or for treats. I used to stand on my balcony on the ground floor and call "Harry Treats" in a high pitched voice and you would come running to me. You loved the sun and would happily lie on the balcony soaking up the rays every chance you got. You loved being outside but would go back and forth saying hello to me every few hours. You would come in the cat flap and jump on the couch or the coffee table to give me kisses. You loved lying across my laptop to get my attention, once I gave it to you then you were happy and would go off and go for a snooze on my bed or on your favourite armchair.
Mia loved you and Poppy loved you, you were the boss, the number one cat, they tolerated each other but you gave us all equal attention so we were happy. You loved hunting and many a night you came home with a present for me, sometimes it would be alive sometimes not. I knew by the sound of your meowing coming through the catflap that you had brought home a lovely present for me. You would lie in the hall and start grooming your legs and paws so very proud of yourself that you had provided for your family, meanwhile I was having to catch Mia and Poppy and put them in a separate room while I then went and tried to catch the mouse running around my sitting room, this was the only time that I ever thought badly of you, blooming cat I thought it is three in the morning and I am up for work tomorrow. I told you many times that I didn't want a present "your love was enough" but you never listened.
You loved snoozing and you would often cuddle up beside me on the couch. You had beautiful thick long hair and your sides would get all matted from your love of snoozing so I would try and give you a quick brush every day, you would run over when you saw the brush and I would tell you how handsome and gorgeous you were and you would roll around purring.
You had never stayed out all night so I called for you before I went to bed, and there was no sign of you, I thought you were off hunting another present for me. I went to bed but when I woke up during the middle of the night and you weren't there I started to think something might be up. there was still no sign of you in the morning, I called for you and you didn't come home and I was getting worried. I walked around the apartment complex calling your name but there was no chatty Harry running over to me. You hear of cats going off for a few days and i kept trying to remind myself, he is just on a walkabout and he will be back soon but the tension in my stomach wouldn't go away. I got in my car and drove around the area calling your name, I was worried you had been knocked over and were lying on a road somewhere but still there was no sign of you. I contacted the DSPCA, Cats Aid, Gardai, local vets, UCD animal hospital, the county council, even the Luas works in case you had been knocked over, everywhere I could think of, I drove around the area, I walked around the area calling "Harry Treats" shaking a whiskas treat box.
When it was dark Mia and Poppy would follow me so I looked like a complete nutter calling out in a high pitched voice with two cats following behind me. I put up posters, I posted you missing on Facebook, I logged your picture and details on every missing pet website and I would spend every evening trawling through all the found cats posts. I couldn't talk about you in work as i would start crying, everyone asked me "any sign of Harry" I would answer no and change the subject or walk away. Every day I would return from work and my heart would break when I opened the door and you weren't there. Mia and Poppy were lost without you, they stopped eating, they were vomiting and had the runs. Mia kept walking out onto the balcony looking around and then walking back inside. Poppy used to sit on the floor beside the cat flap staring out waiting for you to come home, she stopped sleeping in her own bed and started sleeping in yours, she stopped grooming herself so she became really matted and dirty.
They both lost weight and they just mopped around being really clingy to me. It was absolutely horrible. You were in my thoughts every day, I had heard people talking about "closure" but I never knew what they meant until you went missing. I kept thinking that you had been hurt and were hiding being quiet so that no predator would find you. It reached the stage that I just wanted to find your body, the not knowing was driving us all mad, every night I would cry when I walked through the door and you weren't there. How I didn't crash my car I don't know as I spent my time looking for you, checking the sides of the roads for you, you were white so every plastic bag would grab my attention. My home didn't feel like home anymore, there was something missing all the time.
Gradually I was able to talk about you without crying, the girls started eating again but still Poppy slept in your bed instead of hers, I stopped checking the found pets section every day after 6 months and only checked intermittently. I had to move house seven months after you went missing, I felt guilty that I was leaving you behind and what would happen if you did come home, I would check the apartment but there was never any sign of you. Selfishly I loved not having very few memories of you in the new house, you had only been there once or twice so the place was not flooded with memories of you. I know you would never have left me as you showed me all the time how much you loved me, you were spoiled rotten and had everything a cat could ask for. I used to call my apartment kitty creche as I spent more money on you three than I did on myself. I think of you all the time and I wonder what happened to you, if you did get injured I hope that you didn't suffer. You were the best cat a girl could wish for and I will never forget you. One year today a piece of my heart went missing, scar tissue is growing over it but it will never be full again without you. Wherever you may be I hope you know you are truly truly missed and you were and are very very loved. Emma, Mia & Poppy x
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