My cat Confucius passed away
Posted on 20/03/2014
Last Saturday I had to make the awful decision to put my cat Confucius down. It didn’t come easily as she had been my pet for 20 years.I bought Confucius at the end of a horrible day at university. I had not long ago enrolled in a degree only to discover it wasn’t what I really wanted to do. I felt lost, with no direction in life. I’d recently moved out of home as well and was basically living on the poverty line, working at Pizza Hut and a 24/7 convenience store to get by.
As I was walking home I walked past a pet shop. A giant litter of kittens were in the glass front of the shop, they were all tumbling over each other, trying to get the passers by attention.
At first I didn’t see Confucius, my attention was on another cat who was desperately pawing the glass. I asked the pet shop owner if I could hold that cat but when he opened the glass door to the pen Confucius knocked that cat out of the way, ran up my arm and nestled on my shoulder next to my neck and started purring like a freight train.
“I think she likes you”, said the smiling the pet store owner. I agreed and 10 minutes later I had handed over my last $25 and was carrying Confucius home in a shoe box with holes punched in the top for air.
Thus began a beautiful friendship.
It’s hard to quantify the love that animals give humans. It’s all the little things that happen on a daily basis that cement the bonds between pet and owner. From the start Confucius wasn’t your average cat. She learned to play fetch when she was a kitten. Friends watched in awe as we would throw scrunched up paper balls out the window and moments later Confucius would return with the ball in her mouth which she would drop at our feet.
She was a prolific hunter which was good considering the dodgy student digs I was living in at the time. I’d come home to find mice, rats and other vermin and a very proud cat purring loudly. I even had a “godfather moment” where Confucius left the head of a mouse on my pillow as a gift.
When I feeling unwell or unhappy about something Confucius seemed to quietly understand. She would sit on my chest and try and lick away my tears with that little rough tongue of hers. When I was ill she wouldn’t leave my side.
As the years went on Confucius continued to touch the lives of many people. She seemed to have a knack of reaching out to people who were experiencing pain in their lives. She would stay with them and provide quiet company where she could. She had a colourful, well travelled life, living in multiple suburbs in Brisbane, Melbourne and even Tasmania.
With time her health declined and she could no longer hunt and jump as she had become totally blind. It didn’t stop her, she simply used her other senses to map the plans of the houses we lived in. We would leave Confucius basking in the morning sun out the back of the house, only to find her in the front yard enjoying the afternoon sun. How she managed to navigate her way through obstacles underneath the house to get there we will never know.
In the end however, her kidneys finally gave in and we had to make the final, horrible decision. The vet was kind and she passed away surrounded by love and stroking hands. She gave out one final breath and then she was gone. I like to think it was her giant spirit finally leaving her body.
Rest in peace Confucius, you were a great friend to me and many others and you will be missed always. x