Hi. I lost my kitten very recently and am coping terribly, so I decided to do at least something to honor her. I decided to write a piece of text in her memory, as well as for my own sake.
I recently went through a very tough break-up of a relationship that had lasted for 10 years. I started toying with the idea of getting a cat (as me and the ex had a cat but she stayed with the ex), but acknowledged I was barely in the condition to take care of myself, let alone another living being, so I decided to wait a while.
A few months later, a friend who had gotten a 3- or 4-month (she didn't know exactly) old kitten changed her mind and wanted to give it away, as it was too energetic and playful for her. I decided to adopt it. Took it to the vet's immediately, got it cleaned up and subsequently vaccinated. Thought real hard about the name and finally decided on Zeka (Bunny in my language), as it hopped around a lot.
She was a healthy kitten, the vet said, about 4 months old, maybe 5. She ate like a dragon! At first we had some difficulties with her smearing liquid poop all over the place but a diet change fixed that. I'd yell at her if she decided to do stupid things like chewing cables, knocking over the trash can, scratching the furniture etc. I'd even smack her bottom a few times when she misbehaved, but never out of anger, only when her actions could result in her getting hurt. She eventually started responding to my yelling, and then just saying, 'no' and would back off. She didn't like being picked up 90% of the time, and would bite and scratch until I soothed her with 'sshhh-shhhh'.
She was a little devil, always running around, chasing balls I'd throw, scratching her post, engaging in various mischief, but at least once a day she would climb on top of me just to cuddle. My other cat did this simply all the time, but Zeka did it so rarely that I considered it very special when it happened. She would purr and stretch her paws and they would push into my neck or touch my chin. She was never good at making herself comfortable and I always had to hold a part of her so she wouldn't fall off me. She was also often clumsy, running into walls headfirst or miscalculating jump distances. She liked hanging out on the refrigerator and I turned a blind eye to the fact that she had to cross the counter (where y'know, food is often prepared) first in order to get there. I'd tease her when she was up there, called her dum-dum, and laughed when she tried to catch my hand. I let her bite and scratch me up to a point. She was only playing and I liked being part of that play. She also liked hanging out on the windowsills (5th floor but I have mosquito nets so she was always on the inside). She would follow me around the house and often just sit there looking at me. I talked to her a lot. About anything and everything.
She made her share of trouble however, and a couple of times I considered giving her away to a more capable and patient individual. Sometimes I'd tell her she'd be flying out the window. I'd yell. I'd complain to friends about the poop, the running into legs, the scratching, the early wake-ups. But I'd gotten to understand her better and better during the three-week period I had her, and even though I complained, in retrospect, I would never have given her away. She was mine, or more precisely, I was hers. I grew to love her, even if I wasn't really aware of it. I would never have parted with her.
A couple of days ago, I had company over and we were watching a movie. Zeka was particularly energetic that evening, so I shut the door. She had the bathroom and the kitchen all to herself, and anything she could need. She meowed a bit for me to let her back in as she usually did, but after a while she stopped. After the movie was over, I opened the door but she wasn't there. I looked around the house; nada. I tried kicking her ball around as this would always lure her out of hiding. I shook her food jar. Nothing. I laughed nervously, wondering how I could've lost a cat in this small rented apartment. I checked the mosquito net on the kitchen window and noticed that one side was just a tiny bit separated from the wall. Barely enough for me to fit my hand through, let alone a kitten her size, but separated nonetheless. I refused to believe that she could've fit through there. I removed the net, looked down but saw nothing. I decided to go downstairs, bringing her food jar so as to lure her to myself with it.
So out I went with my friend and started shaking the jar and whistling. I honestly thought she would come running. Then I heard my friend say "Oh... Oh no...". I looked over and my gaze landed on a small shape lying very close to the building. My gut squirmed. I bolted toward it. It was her. I bent down to check if she was alright. There was foam coming out of her mouth and she wasn't breathing. I panicked. I called out her name a few times. My arms went numb. I called a few emergency vet numbers, but as it was late only the 4th call got through. I explained the situation, barely controlling my sobs. The lady on the other side of the phone said that I could try massaging her chest but that it was a long shot. That I did, and I felt her broken bones. I saw for the first time the puddle of blood she was lying in the middle of. I called her name again. I screamed in agony. She was dead. She was my little friend and she was dead.
I went upstairs to wash my hands. I got a shoe box, got back downstairs, and put her in it. I cried the entire time. I punched a nearby tree a couple of times. I left her there as I wasn't sure if she was a health hazard; I feel so guilty about this, leaving her outside like trash, but I honestly didn't want to make a bad situation worse. I wanted to do right by her so the next day I called a friend and he helped arrange a funeral for her. We had her buried at an equestrian club, in between some bushes. Before the burial, I opened the box. She was so stiff and her little paws were so small. I put her favourite ball in the box, along with a few other things from my desk that she liked to knock around but I'd never let her. I called her name again and patted her on the head. She did not wake. I knew she wouldn't, but I hoped beyond hope. I cried. We stuck around while she was being buried. Then we left. A part of me stayed.
I feel so guilty about her death. I keep thinking that if I'd done anything different, this wouldn't have happened. If I'd chosen to rent a different apartment, if I hadn't closed the door, if I had let her play with a bag she seemed to really like... If not guilty, I am definitely responsible for the death of my little friend. People have told me it was a tragic accident. That there have been many cases like this. That I'd done everything I could've done to make the little critter happy. That she was just too energetic, inquisitive, and fearless for her own good. I understand all of this. Still I feel that I was responsible for her well-being, and now I am responsible for her demise. I am paying for it with a painful physical reaction to this stress (high fever and stomach cramps), but it is not enough. I cannot escape the guilt. I cannot escape the sight of her body in a puddle of blood. That of her blood on my hands. The stiffness of her tiny corpse. The fact that I will never again hear her distinct meow. She will never wake me up. I will never see my friend again. A precious, tiny life, extinguished. My dear little Zeka, gone.