Just over 3 years ago on Xmas Eve 2003 I obtained a small kitten which I called Eve.
Today I gave her away to some new owners. This was the last photo taken of her just last week:
This post is my tribute to Eve. As I’m writing this, sitting here in Starbucks, I’m finding it hard to keep the tears from building up in my eyes. She was a loved companion for the past 3 years, and I have many fond memories of her.
As a kitten:
- climbing amongst the branches of the xmas tree in December 2003, hiding and watching from inside the glitter and decorations
- taking her to work with me so we could get some bonding time. I was on the graveyard shift on the helpdesk, and there was no one else working in the building over those xmas holidays. She enjoyed exploring the large room, with the cables everywhere, and the potplants that she could climb… and knock over. I had to clean up the dirt and repot the plants a couple of times. She used to fall asleep in my lap while I was on the computer.
- she loved being sprayed with water whenever she did anything wrong. In my attempts to train her out of doing some things I wanted to discourage, she seemed to do more of them and then sit there waiting for the spray. She used to close her eyes, cock back her ears and let herself be sprayed. Doing it until she was soaking wet had no effect on her. Eventually I gave up. I think she stopped doing them when I stopped spraying her. It wasn’t fun any more…
- she used to climb up my body to sit on my shoulders and watch me do the dishes. One day she realised she was old enough to jump high enough to climb up onto the kitchen bench, and then she was always up there watching me wash dishes
- she would fall asleep in my lap while I was on the computer
- when it was cold – or even when it wasn’t – she would climb under the bed covers and lay next to me, enjoying my body warmth. She used to do that for over a year, until Deidre moved in and became my sleeping partner instead. She seemed ok to give up her status as my sleeping partner in favour of Deidre…
- she learnt how to open doors, so ‘time out’ (which replaced the spray bottle) eventually needed to be done with a broom under the door handle. She would jump up and grab the door handle, pulling it down with her weight and unlatching it. Then she’d use her claws under the door to pull or push it open.
As an older cat:
- she never meowed to go outside. She used to instead let me know she wanted to go outside by pulling at the carpet with her claws. If I was asleep, it was loud enough to wake me up and let her out. Deidre was a lighter sleeper than I, so she was the one who has been letting Eve out most of all during the past couple of years. In the middle of the night
- she never meowed to be fed – except for when the food was being poured into her bed, and then I think she was saying “About bloody time!” She used to look at me until I went to feed her. If I didn’t get up to go feed her, she’d come over to stretch out one paw and touch me on the arm. That’s when I’d get up and go feed her.
- she would come into the bathroom when I was having a shower, and sit on the end of the bath or the washing machine. She’d either just relax while I was showering, joining me in her own way, or clean herself as well
She will be missed very much.
Today I gave her to some new owners, who I hope will love her as much as I have, and who will treat her with kindness and keep her healthy and happy. Yesterday Deidre and I gave away Geisha, our other kitten, to some other people. I hope they look after her and give her all the love she needs as well.
We gave away our cats because of a number of reasons, which were very hard to come to terms with.
- Geisha and Eve never got along, and Eve was extremely unhappy about sharing her territory with another animal. They’re happier not being together.
- The danger of Geisha, the kitten, dying from heat stroke after moving from the cold climate to the extremely hot climate of Australia was high, and we didn’t want to chance it. Plus, Geisha is very much like an albino, and over-exposure to sunlight gave her a high risk of developing skin cancer. Almost a certainty in Australia.
- Deidre has always wanted a dog, which we can’t have if we kept Eve, as Eve doesn’t like being around other animals. The last time someone brought a small dog to the place for only 1 hour, Eve disappeared for 3 days.
So we made the hard choice to give away the cats to good homes here in Wellington. Moving to Canberra is, for both of us, like ‘starting afresh’. Our lives are changing, and moving forward everything changes. We’re starting a new life in Canberra, and that includes our pets.
Once we have our own place in Canberra, within a few months of getting there, we’re going to get a puppy and a kitten, so that they can grow up together and get used to each other. We don’t want our pets to hate each other. So the ‘sacrifice’ of giving up our pets was made to allow all of us – the cats and us – to move forward, much happier.
We know Eve is happier with being the only cat. She’s now the only cat in a family that seems like they’ll treat her well. We know Geisha needs more attention and play than we were able to give her, and she’s with a family that will give that to her. Deidre can get herself a puppy that she’s always wanted, and I’ll get another kitten for myself.
But it doesn’t change the grieving process that we’re both going through. I had Eve for 3 years. There’s a bond there that I’ll never forget. She’s gone from my life now, but never from my heart and my memories.
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