My cat died. If you don't have animals you love, yeah, a cat died. But... my cat died. I wasn't there. She had love with her, she was stroked, she was loved. It was everything it should have been. But.... I wasn't there. I heard her mum was pregnant, and I wanted a cat so much. I had grown up with cats, and then spent a chunk of my adult life (probably not as long as it felt) with no cats. I had had rats, but Spike was the only one I had that bond with, and he died in my hands within six months. (IN not AT my hands - you guys are harsh). I wanted a girlie cat. Boy cats (to my recollection) sprayed everywhere, even after being neutered, and I couldn't deal with that in rented accommodation. So, the kittens were born (all fcking stunning), and there was one girl. The tortie. No matter how much Hatty may have wanted her, she had promised me a girl, and there she was. Willow. That slightly shocked but I know wtf you are up to expression on her face never changed, her eyes just changed to amber. She was my cat. She let in Oz (no clue what that cat was called, but no cat tolerated by Willow could be anything but Oz). She tried to bring me baby birds and got tiny baby feathers everywhere. She curled up with me when I was suddenly alone. She slept next to the crib when I wasn't able to be 100% present. Then Furball came. She glowered. She backed away. She spread her paws out across my boobs. She rested her head in my cleavage. She dribbled in my tea. No man had she ever been like that with. She was fine with the kids' dad. She was fine with boy visitors (not that I had them, I was pure innit). But him, she was not sharing with. She knew he was different. Nearly eight years now, and she has only started letting him stroke her without ducking her head in the last six months. She has been sitting on his lap. She has been sleeping on his back. It feels like her final fck you. "Love me, get used to me being nice, then I'll go". I sit holding her collar - nothing special, literally a flea collar - and I am glad she isn't having to wear it any more. I am glad her dermatitis isn't itching. But I want my cat. I want that cloying clinginess. I want to get out of a bath and feel like a need a new one because she had laid on my damp back. I want to need new tea because she dribbled in my cup. I want my book interrupted by her arse sat on it. I didn't know it would hurt like this. I'm fairly used to human loss now. This is different. But just as raw.