Over a year ago, I met a woman who is now my girlfriend. Along with that relationship came the relationship with her feline companion. This was not the first cat to enter my life, but there was a special feeling around this cat from the beginning. I am plenty fine taking my time for a pet or child to warm up to me, however this cat demanded attention in a way no previous cat encounter had occurred.
The cat’s name was Eilonwy, pronounced Eye-Lynn-Wee!, and she was a joy to be around. I put a lot of effort into getting her approval. I would put my hand in front of her face, and if she moved forward, I would pet her. If she stayed still, I would pull my hand away. Many times, I would wander behind her as she traversed the apartment. She would occasionally glance behind to confirm that I was following her. I was there ready to be of service if she performed the move I called the “burritto.” In this move, the cat would sit down and roll on her side exposing the side of her body for long pets. The rule was, if she burrito-ed, then I petted her, no matter what.
Over time we formed, what I deduced, was a pretty strong friendship. We were each others’ pals. My girlfriend was clearly her person, but I was second. Not a close second, but still second. While it took a significant amount of time for me to use the L-word with my girlfriend, that was not the case with the cat. The love bond for me was quick and there was a running joke about how quick I was to fall in love with a four-legged friend.
I started calling her “my queen” and that ran into some issues with the girlfriend. We settled on calling her my princess and I would end most phone calls with “Tell my princess I love her.”
She is also the primary reason I adopted Coco. The girlfriend looked at me one day and said, “You need a dog, she loves you, but not the way you want her to love you. You NEED a dog!” So she is responsible for my pet ownership as well.
In October of this year, my princess started getting a bit lethargic. She was peeing in weird places. While there were a lot of additional factors going on, we were concerned. We found out that she had a degenerative kidney condition which meant her time with us was limited. Despite being put on everything we could put her on, she eventually just stopped eating because it was too painful. She lost nearly half of her weight by the time the girlfriend made the decision to let her go. It was a very tough decision. We were both there as they put her down. She left this world knowing she was loved.
I will be forever grateful to the girlfriend and cat for entering my life and changing it in so many positive ways. I am now a partial cat person. While dogs will always be my first love, I can’t imagine my life without feline companionship.
Here are just a few of the things I will remember about the cat:
- She loved warm blankets and would only really sit on us when we had warm blankets.
- She was incredibly vocal and would meow when upset. I loved the sound of her meow.
- She was a hunter, and despite the fact it would hurt the girlfriend, she would bring in her prey. I was proud.
- She loved string, better than almost any present one could buy her.
- She liked physical contact and especially belly rubs.
- She loved being outdoors.
- Even when she would get upset, she was very slow to bite or paw at people, she would usually just walk away.
- She loved cheese and fish.
- She hated traveling by car!
- She enjoyed being held by her person and sometimes by me.
- Boxes were her kingdom.