Once I was the lucky servant of Malbec. Malbec was a white Devon Rex tomcat. He was delightful. Good-tempered, friendly and affectionate. We gave him a nickname: Nurejev, after the legendary ballet dancer. Because he performed the most beautiful cat jumps a human eye ever witnessed. Every one of Malbec’s jumps had that one moment of apparent weightlessness. Malbec jumped higher than necessary. Just because he could. Malbec was a gift.
In retrospect we figured out that he probably had been ill the whole time. But we didn’t know that. He always looked for people’s warmth. Malbec spent a complete Autumn under my husband’s hoodie. Between ribcage and computer he found all the necessary love and warmth. A full theatre show was being written on the keyboard and a purring Malbec had front seats. But a few weeks before the show’s premiere things got bad. Malbec suddenly started licking the wooden floor.
It went on and on. The next day he did it again. Strange, I thought. The veterinarian couldn’t see anything unusual. Malbec started to feel warm. Or was that only in my mind? Was his head trembling or was I just imagining that? Was he standing a tad insecurely on his legs? Then I noticed he wanted to jump on a chair and didn’t succeed. My Nurejev! And at that point it hit me: Malbec was ill. Very ill. The moment to return the gift came sooner than I’d expected. Malbec died at the age of nine months. It hit me so hard.
I know. There are bigger sorrows in life. A life with cats also implies letting them go. You’re supposed to live longer than they do. You take care of them from the beginning till the end, that’s how it’s supposed to be. If you can’t handle this, you shouldn’t start.
But the velvet feet of the cats that lay on my lap, still wander my days. Their nails still scratch my heart. I can’t see them. But I can feel them. And that’s the way they make me happy. Still. Because they teach me to be grateful for the cats that are running around in my house nowadays. Who are equally sweet and special. My cats, my sweet, spoiled, puzzling gifts.
- Publication out of the book “Miauwkes’ by Veronique Puts. Like this story? Press the blue ‘follow’ button on the blog page and receive an email every time a new story is published.