I hope my cat is OK
It’s been more than a year since I’ve held my cat as I could not go home (thanks, Covid).
The last time I saw her was the night before I left. I was not able to say goodbye on my departure because she was out the whole day – we had family over to send me off but she’s always hated crowds, so she escaped into the tranquil of our neighbour’s house (probably). I’ve been coming across a lot of posts on Instagram of people with their cats and I kid you not, I started bawling my eyes out because it suddenly hit me how much I miss my cat.
I remember vividly the first time we met. It was on a late Saturday afternoon and I had just come home from my horse-riding class. I walked to our backyard to see my aunt watering the plants and she told me that there was a kitten hiding in one of the bushes. At the mention of a kitten, I immediately put on my slippers to look everywhere in the garden, tuning my ears to the small sound of meows. I found her crouched behind a bush near the fence and tried to coax her to step out but she was scared. After offering her my hands so that she could recognise my scent and telling her that I meant no harm, I walked away to give her space. Fast forward 8 years later and she’s been the Bruiser to my Elle Woods since then.
You know how they say that cats tend to mirror their owners? It’s heart-warming and just a tad bit terrifying how similar Indie’s personality is to mine. I’ve mentioned that she hates crowds, making a swift escape through our back door and never to be seen again until the party dies down. I used to be like that as a teenager – anxious every time I had to greet a guest, hanging around the pantry instead, pretending that I looked busy enough so that none of our family friends would strike up a conversation with me because I was just so awkward around people for some reason. Indie also takes some time to get comfortable with a person. She observes them from afar, probably vibe-checking until she decides it’s okay to go up to them. I’ve always been like that, quiet and shy the first time we meet but stick around long enough and I’ll probably warm up to you. It’s comforting to know that I love Indie despite her quirks and that she loves me despite mine. She reassures me that I’m still a normal person who is capable of being loved despite not being the most energetic and extroverted being out there.
She’s also stuck with me through the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with being a teenager. I remember ranting to her about high school drama and boy problems whenever I didn’t feel like talking about it to my sister or mom. She would just look at me, listening intently while blinking her eyes as if responding to my vents and that always made me feel better. Sometimes I would end up crying on my bed and she’d just let me hold her in my arms like an emotional support teddy. I wish she was here with me now because I need her here more than ever.
Transitioning into adulthood and navigating through it all alone without my family being physically here with me is tough, confusing, and sometimes frustrating. I imagine how calming it would be to have Indie purring across my lap as I rant to her. She’d blink in response as if saying “Dude, calm down, you’ll probably get over this sooner than you think… now give me some treats”. At least I’d know that I have her when days get a little lonely.
I hope you’re doing OK, Indie. I know my room is empty now but I hope you don’t ever think that you don’t matter to me anymore. I will love you with all my soul for eternity. Thank you for showing up to our garden at the right time and for being there when I needed you the most. You've been an amazing little friend and a good listener. I hope I can come home soon so we can see each other again!