052: Remembering Neji

Oct 28, 2021

A month ago today I lost my beloved cat Neji.

I never liked referring to him as my 'pet' because that word didn't do justice to the strength of the bond we had.

Instead, I always thought of him as my animal companion, because he really was my best friend in the whole world.

He was by my side all the way through the darkest times in my life, and instinctively understood when I was sad; he had this unique way of softly touching his paw to my cheek, so that I would lower my head down, and then he'd nudge me with his head as if to say, "I'm here with you, no matter what."

Neji was the most loving and loyal creature I have ever known.

As the years went by, I knew the time would eventually arrive when I would have to say goodbye to him, and it was something I planned to prepare myself for as he got older.

But I never got to make those preparations because he passed away following an acute illness that lasted less than 5 days from start to finish.

Saying goodbye to Neji was the single hardest thing I have ever had to endure, and honestly, given all the other stuff that happened in September (I lost my human best friend, too) there were times in the past month when I contemplated taking my own life because I couldn't bear the pain anymore.

Every day since he passed, I constantly look at his paw prints and touch the lock of fur that was cut before he was cremated.

Things have been a little brighter since getting his ashes back, and I talk to his urn (designed like a sleeping cat) all the time as though he can hear me (I don't know if he can, but it helps me cope with his loss).

I'm also getting therapy to help me with my darker thoughts, and even though it's still very hard to find any joy in this world, I'll be okay eventually.

I had no intentions of coming back to this blog for a long time, if ever, but ironically, today is National Cat Appreciation Day, so I thought it might be cathartic for me to write a few words about how wonderful a cat he was.

Neji, I miss you more than I could ever put into words, and I'm so grateful for the 9 and a half years you were in my life. I don't know what comes after this life, but if there is another place, wait for me by the rainbow bridge. I'll see you again, Bubba.