As I sit here writing this I am in mourning; grief of a loved one is never easy and when you lose a spirit that has brought so much joy it saddens you to the deepest parts or your soul.
I have always been an animal lover, one of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave me was a life filled with animals. It taught me at a young age many lessons about love and kindness that I have carried with me into my adult years; lessons that cannot be told through words but experienced through taking care of and interacting with an animal to fully understand the true symbolism of loyalty and unconditional love.
For those of you who are animal lovers understanding the loss is never complete, it is a repeated hurt that lingers and knowing that the chances of you not out living your furry family member is heartbreaking, yet the amount of love they bring to our lives out way the saddest day to come.
My saddest day came.
On September 25th 1997, I was introduced to a soul that was kind, gentle, fierce and full of love and on this day I was at beach in a small county in Nova Scotia called Culloden. My mother had brought this beautifully colored cat home the day prior to my sweet 16th birthday on the very year my parents moved us from Ontario to Nova Scotia, it was a rough year, but this day was a happy one.
Being all of fifteen moving from a city to a small town was difficult and leaving all I knew was hard, however this newest addition to my life was one of the highlight’s of that year. As I looked at her many colors I immediately knew her name, since her colors reminded me of the way the sun shone on the various colored boulders at the beach I had visited that day, therefore I named her Culloden.
Throughout nearly 16 years Culloden saw me through high school, college and my twenties. She traveled and lived in Nova Scotia, Ontario and Newfoundland moving many times within those Provinces and although she saw a lot of change she remained consistent, as her nickname was Lovey, her love was always present and intense, and her purr was the best song of all.
Spending nearly sixteen years with anything is a long time, yet losing someone who could bring you into the moment, light your face by making you smile and loving you no matter what you looked like or where you were in life is an unbreakable bond.
On September 30th 2012, my Culloden Girls took her last breath within my arms, she wasn’t in any pain nor did she suffer, she went peacefully and with me, the person who loved her most in this life. As death always does, it leaves piercing pain for those left behind and in this instance it remains true, losing a cat feels like losing a child, or the closest feeling I could imagine it to be.
She truly lived a long, healthy and happy life and her life served great meaning, it is her physical presence that I will sob for, missing her already.
Prior to her passing I knew her time here on earth was expiring since her aging caught up with her and with that her body just could not keep up with her strong-headed mind. I knew the time of her passing was approaching, I just didn’t know when and that is when I decided to shoot a video of words I wanted her to hear from my heart.
As many animal lovers do, they have a special voice they speak to their cat with as I have one for all of the animals I have ever chosen to own me. Culloden and I shared a voice that I will miss, for I felt it truly showed her personality and was between her and me.
Sharing my life with you through social media is not always going to display the positive parts of life, since that would be a false representation of reality. We are all struggling with something, mourning for someone and sadness is a part of life and growth.
I knew that you would help ease the pain with your heartfelt condolences and you have, knowing that others understand can be one of the best natural medicines that exist. Therefore I share my goodbye to my sweet Culloden with you as I hope it will help you use social media to help cleanse your soul of what aches, since we never truly know what another person is going through, but someone is always going through something.
Saying goodbye to her is one of the hardest days of my life but shooting this video and seeing her eyes look at me as they always have near the end of the video helps her stay with me, hearing her purr makes my heart smile and having you to share it with helps me through this very difficult time.
This summer has not been an easy one as some of you may know, it has been one of loss and illness in my personal life offline, yet you were there for me. Whether it was one word or sentence, words can be healing, knowing others are there showing positivity in a negative situation is another reason as to why I have such love for social media. I have gratitude to all who commented on my love for Culloden and will treasure your words in this time of mourning.
Good-bye Culloden, I will love you forever.