Goodbye Kiki

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There’s much sadness and heavy hearts in my world. My sister’s darling little cat Kiki was found dead a couple of days ago. A vet was unable to tell us if the cause of death was accident or intentional, only that it was a trauma, and probably mercifully quick.

Every now and then an animal comes into your life at exactly the right moment. Kiki was our cat Tonks’ sister, and she had an incredibly bright spirit, deeply loving and full of mischief. She and my sister shared a deep bond, and the shock of her passing so young and so senselessly is huge. My sister is a wonderful woman who has gone through far too much upheaval. Diligent, loyal, intelligent, fierce and gentle, she has endured much loss and disappointment. Kiki was a constant, a bright spark of warmth and life that cheered flagging spirits and made it easier to lay to rest long days and start new ones with energy. Whatever other changes were happening, there was Kiki. Curled up in bed at night, following her around the house, or riding on her shoulder. In many ways, Kiki was my sister’s home. Without her, everything is wrong, home is not home, there is no anchor holding fast. We all know it, and we’re all reeling.

We shatter apart and come together again, recognising the loss and the changes. Rose and I hold each other in the dark and whisper of her lost babies, of what it will feel like if we lose more. I remember Leanne and Amanda with an aching heart. We talk about grief, about life after death, about family. We feel the shadow of Death upon our lives, the senselessness of it, the sharpness of cut threads, the unknown timing to the ends of our stories. A cold wind blows.

We gather to bury Kiki, talk about good memories of her, honour a rare and special connection between human and animal. We wake to a new world, changed, sadder, grieving. Kiki’s body lies beneath snowdrops blooming. Life goes on, all around us, under us, over us, it hurts, and it is beautiful.

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