Things people don't tell you about when your cat dies


[I should warn you, I'm still pretty fucking upset about this cat. Sure, I knew it would happen eventually, and eventually I knew it would happen soon. And he was a cat, not a child or a parent or a friend! But he was a friend if a weird not very talkative friend and a part of my life for a very long time and I don't think it's overstepping or a weird thing to say that I think we knew each other very well and communicated very well. Which is more than I can say for a lot of people in the world, though luckily none I know personally xx]

Some things I wish I had thought of when my cat died.

Digital things

Amazon subscribe and save

Or save and subscribe or whatever it is. Turn that shit right off immediately. The last thing you need is Amazon emailing you to tell you you've run out of cat litter. You probably haven't even actually run out of cat litter yet, because you can't figure out how much to order so that you don't either have too much or too little, so you erred on the side of cupboards full of it. So at least stop more of the fucking stuff arriving. You can figure out what to do with the rest of it later.

Facebook memories

Turn these off too. Nobody needs to see that until (I'm guessing) at least a year in. All I know really is I can't face them right now and it's only been a month.

Look, if you really want to be depressed about it you've got your own Leonard Cohen playlist on Spotify to put on loud and iPhone albums to look at, don't let some other nameless Silicon Valley fuckwit decide that you should spend an evening crying just because it's Tuesday.

See also TwitYesterday or whatever other 'hooray won't it be great to remember this in a year' services you're using. It won't be.

Ocado favourites

"Did you forget to order cat food?"

NO I DIDN'T FUCKING FORGET YOU INSENSITIVE CLODS IF ANYTHING I HAVE TOO MUCH CAT FOOD AND NOT ENOUGH CAT.

You can remove these from your favourites and it better fucking stop cat food popping up in that five million step checkout flow or I will personally go to Hatfield and .. I dunno, hold up a strongly worded sign.

LEARNS

This is an excellent reason that those services UX should enable you to easily delete these things, take a break or exempt certain dates from them.

Not-digital things

Seeing things

You will still see your cat. Not in an acid trip Disney cartoon characters skipping around the room sort of way. You will want to see him so much you will wish this were true! But sadly in a more insidious subtle am I going actually mad here or is this just me way.

Your partner will leave a small-black-cat-sized black bag on the floor and when you come in from work you will see it out of the corner of your eye and for half a second your heart will be still and steady finally for once because it's just him sitting there and everything is fine... oh no wait he never used to sit there .. and then you will remember and look again and it's just a black shape on the floor and your cat is not there. This is fine. You are not going mad.

I know this is fine because when I first got the cat I was super paranoid about going on holiday. What if something happened? And entire holidays were plagued with weird small black flickers in my peripheral vision. After a few years of successful holidaying this went away. So I'm assuming this will too.

Um, hooray for the human brains ability to adapt!

Hearing things

You will still hear your cat. I only found out after my cat died that at least half the noises in my flat were not in fact him wandering about in the night, but are actual noises from neighbours or just the flat, and I always thought they were him because he just happened to be in a different room when I heard them. So the good thing is.. you're only imagining half the noises?

Missing their shape

I can't think how else to put it. You will go home and you will get over all of these things, the accidental seeing or hearing when you are not expecting it. But there will be a time or a place where you still do want there to be a familiar shape and there isn't. I don't know when that goes away.

I couldn't put this in a heading. But: learns. I guess it all just takes time.

You're not going mad. You're in a state of extreme stress, even though you might not feel like it and you're still going to work and seeing your friends and getting shit done because the path of least resistance is easiest when you're stressed, even if you don't realise it. Don't make any big decisions right now. You can deal with it later.

The cat won't be there. But you will. And you'll be ok.

nicky thompson

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