21 years ago I experienced the death of my first pet. Technically it was my dad’s cat and it hated me, but my dad and I hosted a small mourning celebration with rye for him and Kool Aid for me in honour of S.D. Now, we’re mourning the (assumed) loss of my first childhood pet (save for the fish and hamsters who all briefly drove my mom crazy). Here’s my goodbye letter to him:
We got you from a girl my mom used to work with. She named you Brutus and the history geek within me knew it was meant to be. The night we drove you home we decided you needed a new name. You were renamed Scratch for the marks you left on my arms as I tried to hug you the whole drive home.
You were always an interesting pet. From bringing home pieces of mice and delivering them directly to my pillow and massacring a baby bunny in front of all of the neighbourhood kids, to trying to attack Moe and keeping the neighbourhood raccoons in line by punishment of death, you ran a tight ship at Mom and Dad’s. I used to pretend that I was embarrassed when you walked me to my bus stop and waited for me to get on before going back home but secretly I loved it and would watch you run back home as my bus pulled away. Last year you had an accident with the garage door and we thought that was the beginning of the end for you. You were getting old but you were still a fearless little tank and barely even let it slow you down.
One month ago I had a dream that you were missing and I woke up the next day to a message from Mom that you hadn’t come home in a little while. You loved exploring outside but you were never one to stay away too long. Our last cat went to hide when he was sick and ready to go and we assume that’s where you went too. Siren walks around looking for you sometime and we still expect to see you waiting outside the back door to come inside.
Wherever you are, we miss you. I hope the place you’re in now is full of Christmas wrapping paper, cardboard boxes with peepholes, bowls full of the milk leftover after you eat your cereal, and someone to play hide and go seek (attack the feet) around the house with just for you.
Cheers – to the cat who always lived life to the fullest!