In my blog a couple of days ago I said how I had seen my cat Milly for probably the last time. Well, it turned out it really was the last time, as some time over the last few days she went to sleep by her favourite honeysuckle bush and didn’t wake up, and was found peacefully last night.

Whilst it isn’t a huge shock to us as she had been very sick, it is still very sad, Milly had been a big part of our lives and one of the family.

I’m not 100% sure but I think it was January 2000 when we met these two kittens when I was 9 years old, mum and dad wanted a tortoiseshell as we still had our cat Shelley (who passed away about 3 weeks after Luci’s birth in 2004), but we fell in love with who would turn out to be Molly, but couldn’t part her from her less cute, less affectionate sister. I think it was mum who decided on Milly and Molly, and I remember dad didn’t like the name Milly and she was temporarily named Lucy until dad decided he was ok with Milly, probably a good thing as I doubt the third child was anywhere in their thoughts at that stage!

I don’t remember when it happened, most likely early on, but Milly attached herself to me, always relying on me to look after her if she was scared or didn’t like anything, always waddling off to my room, and giving her lots of pats and affection, and she didn’t really like anyone else. She was a moody bugger of a thing, often showing jealousy and glaring when boyfriends came over, I remember once my boyfriend at the time was in the process of sitting down next to me when she appeared out of nowhere, jumping up on the couch and curling up next to me in the split second before he sat down. She also didn’t take it lightly when I moved out, and the night before I was officially out of home with only my bed left to go, she sat on the couch with me, just out of arms reach with her back to me, refusing to acknowledge anything I said and pulling away if I tried to pat her.

But she was also loving and affectionate, always sitting by the passage door waiting to hear the sound of my bedroom door opening in the morning, squeaking and squawking when I finally walked out into the lounge, dad would always know the second I was up based on her reaction. When I was very sick in bed for a couple of weeks with glandular fever, or after I had my wisdom teeth out, or even just on a weekend when I’d be sleeping in, she was always curled up next to me purring away, always happy to be close to me and on the bed.

She always had a lot of nicknames, mostly about how fat she was, not that she was overly fat it just looked like it compared to her slim sister Molly, but was always called her wombat or wallaby because she was just a big lump. She would also bully her sister over food which didn’t help her case. Molly tried to get one back on her once though, when everyone else had gone to Thailand and I was feeding them whilst they were away. I went around at lunchtime and only Molly showed up which was odd, and even stranger was she was being really affectionate, as she has never liked me for being close to Milly. I thought I could hear noises but every time I did Molly would rub up against me and demand attention. After half an hour of swearing I could hear something I finally went to investigate, discovering Milly locked in the garage as she must have snuck in there as everyone was leaving a couple of days before. She was ecstatic to see me and that she was saved, and Molly skulked away, I think she’s a bit psychopathic!

Once she finally forgave me for moving out and started sleeping on Henry’s and Luci’s beds, she was always happy to see me, and even after moving to Cairns and I would only see her a couple of times a year she would always squawk and rub her face and dribble all over my shoes as soon as I walked in the door. Even last week when she was so skinny I could feel every bone, she was still rubbing her face all over me and drooling in happiness.

Although the news might still be raw, writing about it and remembering all the good times and the happy memories is really therapeutic, and though it hurts and I have my two dogs (and Mitch) to cuddle now to help, I know she is in a much better place as she went downhill very quickly from when I saw her 6 months ago. She lived a long happy life, being a grumpy cat to her sister and everyone else in our family. Mum’s message to me was just beautiful, ‘Milly has tippy tapped off to pussycat heaven… Dad has dug a hole behind the honeysuckle bush for her forever resting place’, and I like to think that she held on that little bit longer until I came home again, so we could see each other one last time. As I said, a pet is never just a pet, they hold a very special place in your heart and become a permanent part of the family, and saying goodbye is always heartbreaking.

Lots of love,

Eloise

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