Saying goodbye to my beautiful fur baby Tinker...
I recently made the difficult decision to say goodbye to my beautiful, old cat Tinker. “Difficult” obscures the heart wrenching, oscillating calculus of trying to balance your obligations as a pet owner, understanding their suffering, and how much you need and depend on them emotionally. If you have/had a pet, you get it. I am only now finding the calm to share this but as she was an enormous part of my life I must pay her tribute.
She came into my life in 2014 and immediately imprinted herself on me. She was a fat, silly wonderfully affectionate cat, who loved to run and play and cuddle - she loved cardboard boxes, anything soft and white (herself!), and sitting on any puzzle or papers that were spread out on the floor. She loved getting under the covers and blankets, as well as always finding the highest places to climb.
She accompanied me on my cross country drive out to Revelstoke and back again, and my favourite memory will be her perched up on the window sill looking out at the mountains. We have been physically inseparable for almost two years through a difficult time for me personally and for the world, and she has been my one constant source of calm, my fuzzy little touchstone of “you are ok.”
I tried my utmost to give her a good life in her autumn years. Her origins are slightly apocryphal, and she could have been anywhere between 16-21. She had been struggling w a host of worsening health problems, but despite that the human-animal bond never wavered. She loved (however a cat can love) until the end. I held her in my arms until the final moment, and I am so thankful that my mom was there for me to lean on.
While it has been a very strange and sad week, I’m realizing now the final lessons she has imbued me with. Gratitude - I am so grateful she had the time she did, and that it was with me. That love, affection and physical touch from another creature can transform the world. And finally, that letting go should be seen as a radical act of simultaneous love and self love.
I love you Tinker, and when I receive your ashes I’m going to bring you back to the farm for your long sleep.