This is the second time in three months I have said goodbye to a four-legged friend of mine. I lovingly nicknamed her princess Chuchu, and she was as special as her name.
This is her story.
My ex-boyfriend and me had gotten her from a family with two kids and another cat- they had saved her from the shelter, which had given her a home after she’d been found abandoned on the street. Unfortunately for the family, the princess disliked sharing the spotlight with another four-legged furball and the kids. So we were lucky to offer her a home as a single cat.
It was hard at the beginning – she was skittish and hid a lot under the bed or among the laundry hung up to dry (it made her sneeze, hence “Chuchu“) and we were unsure what to do. At first, I tried to lure her with food, but she just needed time. After a while, she’d start following me while I was moving about the flat, so I’d explain to her what I was doing, like loading the washing machine. Her huge eyes curiously followed my movements. Soon she’d be in the room I or we were in- not too close, but she wanted company. And she slept on our pillows every night.
When we separated, I shared a flat with three male colleagues- paradise for the princess, always somebody there to adore her. I realized she was easier around men, though she accepted me 😅and my bed at night. It was during this time she really trusted people again.
Due to my difficult job situation, me and she moved around a lot in the months after my flatshare, and she spent lots of time alone. It hurt me, yet I was determined not to abandon her! She rewarded me by coming to the door every time she heard my key, and told me about her day in detail. Fascinating how diverse a meaning a “meow“ can convey, isn’t it? 😁😋
When I moved to Austria on a very short-term notice, I was forced to leave her with my parents.😢😢😢 It was hard after six years of her being my companion, but I knew my parents were experienced and loving to animals, as was my sister. In the first few months, she hissed at the other cats which ignored her spatting graciously, until she resigned to their company.
The last six years of her life she spent sunbathing, chasing butterflies, refusing to walk in the rain and usually reading the paper at breakfast with my dad – who snuck her food from the table. She kneaded my mum’s tigh and watched tv with her always. She greeted my sister at the door and followed her around, and she took her boyfriend for walks in the neighbourhood (at old age, she confused the street or house sometimes, understandably, and expected to be brought home…).She kept three male guitarists and my mum company on Thursdays, sitting on a chair next to her favourite player- he adored her. She liked sleeping on her own blanket and eating small portions of food whenever she wanted and ignored feeding times. Princesslike, she enjoyed being brushed, too.
It was not fair that she suffered from a kidney disease and a malfunction of the thyroid in the last year, though she took her daily meds graciously. She remained trusting and kind until the end, forgiving life for handing her a hard set of cards to deal with and bringing joy and amusement to our lives with her unique ways.
You were not an easy cat to love, yet you were ours and it is hard to let you go. Thanks for trusting me. May heaven treat you as a princess deserves from the start!