My cat Mitsus (pronounced Meat-Soosh), is a beautiful, beautiful boy. He has green eyes, and the shiniest coat around. He was my best friend for the longest time.
I don’t know what brought this on, but recently, I have been missing him quite terribly. My heart aches to think of his little paws stretched out next to me whilst I watch Netflix in my bed with a bag of Doritos and salsa.
Perhaps it is not my darling cat who I miss but everything he represents. My darling boy, as I called him. My boy who would come running to meet me when I was walking home from school. The young cat who lay on my chest all night when we first got him, dribbling onto my big, oversized shirt.
I feel a deep sense of guilt for my cat. I had to give him up to a family friend when we left our mum’s house. Obviously I couldn’t have my wonderful little cat running around my university halls with me.
I remember once, when I was crying late at night, he came all the way up to my head from where he’d sleep at my feet. He literally put his paws around my neck and bumped me on the head.
When I gave him up, it was quite sudden. I think he wanted to go. He was never the same after Mum passed away. His fur was missing in patches, and he was spending more time at other houses, and wouldn’t return for days on end.
Tears slipped down my face when my family mentioned that maybe it would be good for him to go that day, instead of preventing it for weeks later. They said we would be delaying the inevitable.
My darling boy, the last remnant of Mum I had, who too was slipping away from me.
Saying yes, was the hardest decision I have had to make solely for another being. With Mum, all the hard decisions were down to me and my sisters, a solid team who carefully thought everything through.
I remember wondering if I would ever be able to stop crying. The tears just kept coming. I remember after he left, I looked down at Rocky and Daisy and cried, knowing Daisy would stay with Katie, and Rocky would stay with the neighbours who loved him so much. Our cats each went to someone who loved them so deeply, you see.
Mitsus had always been mine, really. I asked Mum all the time if he was ‘my cat’. She always laughed or sternly said “he’s all of ours Evee.” I always wanted to know if he was mine, if he was mine forever. If he was mine, he wouldn’t be able to leave suddenly. I’m not sure why but I always promised him that we would always stay together. You must be reading this thinking I’m crazy.
I am pretty crazy. And very dramatic about cats, apparently.
Mummy and myself loved him so dearly that most of our messages used to be pictures of this lovely, lively cat who we’d find snuck into our beds, or sleeping in my laundry bin when I wasn’t there. I don’t think I realised until just now that by letting go of Mitsus, I was truly acknowledging to myself that My Old Life was never coming back.
Mitsus was my nanny’s cat, hence the interesting name, before he was mum’s, and then he was mine. That continuation was everything to me. It always struck me, but I am not sure why. We got Mitsus after my Nan passed away. When we first got him, Mummy was in two minds about keeping him. She said he was quite the handful, and that Nanny had told her about Mitsus climbing up her leg trying to get the cat food satchet she was trying to feed him.
I said to Mummy that I don’t want to keep him if he’s going to live somewhere else eventually. Everyone used to laugh at me when I would carry Mitsus around like a baby in a blanket which I quickly gave to him. They reminded me how “I didn’t want him” at the beginning. Later I’d tell my cat that I always had wanted him, I wanted him so much that I was afraid for him leaving.
If I could see him right now, if he came and jumped on my bed and butted heads with me, I would be overjoyed and so happy. My heart would probably break. I would not want to stroke his little chin or rub his nose as he liked so much, however. I could not bear saying goodbye to him a second time over. I couldn’t bare holding my hand up to my old life in the mirror before me. To wave at the 15 year old and her cat, who had everything.
It would be like seeing a passer by of someone you love get on a train and never come back to you. It would break your heart all over again, and you wouldn’t even be able to tell them about it.
I asked my uncle if he could get some pictures of Mitsus from the family friend for me. I think he forgot, and now I can’t even remind him because there’s that furball in my throat, almost afraid to see my cat in a new life where I am forgotten.
It was all so unfair back then. So unfair at all the decisions we had to make. To pack up our lives, move houses, and give up our cats.
If Mummy was there on that day he left, she would have held me as I cried and told me how cruel all this was. That I couldn’t even keep my cat in the midst of everything. That I was a brave girl, and I was moving on to new things. That Mitsus would be, and is, very very happy.
I think I’ve never let myself truly miss him because how can someone feel something so intensely for a cat?
But that’s grief, isn’t it? It comes when you least expect it. When you find a video you sent to your mum, of you in a pyjama set she bought you, tucked in a bed she kissed you goodnight in, cuddling the cat you both loved so much together.
It’s those moments when life seems unbearable, and everyone seems to always leave.
To my darling boy, Mitsus, I hope you are happy. I remember the lady you are with now telling Mummy that she missed the weight of you next to her in bed.
Well Sushi, it is 1:26am and I miss the weight of you in bed next to me. I hope you are too happy to remember me. Mummy and I love you forever.