Yesterday my cat passed away.
Jasper (named after the gem stone, as is family tradition, not any famous actors or such forth…) was 12, and my closest friend since I was 9. We acquired him from another family who couldn’t handle his erratic behaviours, after my previous cat had been unfortunately killed by the dog next door. Jasper was friendly, and a bit dim (he never was that great at catching himself friends to play with). He was always hungry, but he never seemed to get fat. He liked to sleep and he loved being stroked just between his ears. He was energetic and occasionally moody… we had a lot in common. But best of all, he was always there.
When I returned from school and then later sixth form, Jasper was there (and usually demanding food). When I was in bed, jasper was at the foot (or more likely, trying to share my pillow). When my family split in two, Jasper was reassuringly there. And recently, when I returned from university for christmas and easter break, Jasper has been there, dashing towards me to let me know he’s there for me.
I’ve always been a cat person.
Last night, I felt such guilt that I wasn’t there for him at the end, as he has been for me. That I haven’t really been there for the past few years. That I knew Jasper was ill, but I didn’t think to travel home for a weekend just in case. That my best friend was gone without me saying goodbye. I can’t even recall the last time I saw him.
So today, I was a little sad on my way to work. And when I got in to work. And as I turned on my computer. And then google appeared and I sat and numbly watched today’s doodle.
In it, a bird walked past some trees, them colouring from a dullish green to some wonderful autumnal colours, before they fall to piles on the ground. Clicking on it reveals that today is the equinox – the first day of autumn – when nature starts to die so that it can renew. Today is a new beginning for the northern hemisphere.
Today, we get to see the old begin to be replaced, ready for the new.
It struck me as poignant, that Jasper left me (and the earth around us) yesterday, before the world theoretically starts its process of renewal. Already the days are starting to feel colder and the nights are getting darker. Already I can see leaves changing.
He also left as I’m beginning a new phase in my life. Having graduated in July, I’m now in full time work. I’ve landed in a really awesome company who are based in Manchester which means – I’m moving. And of course, this is ignoring the whole significance of life as a graduate (more of that later…).
I’m not ready to get a new feline friend yet, because 12 years of companionship can’t be replaced just like that, and they shouldn’t be. But I know that eventually, my wounds will heal and I’ll find myself a new buddy. It won’t be the same, it won’t ever, but everything has got to end sometime otherwise nothing would ever get started (what, was that a doctor who quote?).
I hope this made sense, because I tried my very best. And I hope it does my buddy justice. Jasper, I’ll miss you. Forever.