I named her Neža. She was black with spots of white on her neck and belly. She had beautiful green and yellow eyes. She was here and she was loved.
About four years ago I was working outside when a small black cat came and sat quite a far way away from me. She sat and I spoke to her. She listened, but said nothing. Then she left. She came back the next day. I spoke softly to her again. She meowed back and looked at me. I went inside to get some fish I had in the fridge. I left it open for her and she ate the whole thing. She was starving, the poor little thing. If there is something I cannot take, it’s a helpless creature hungry. I started feeding her regularly. My family was (of course) against it. But she grew on them, too.
My neighbours started feeding her as well, but she never let herself be touched. I enticed her to come closer and closer. Used all my patience and really tried to radiate love. She was so tiny, suspicious, but I sensed she wanted nothing more than to be cuddled. So I persevered. I kept on feeding her, kept on kneeling as close and as far away from her as she would allow. I got closer and closer. One day she took a treat from me directly when I extended my arm out as far as I could. After a month or so of that, she ate directly from mu hand.
Six months later, I again fed her and stuck out mu finger to cuddle the side of her little face. She felt the touch and I thought for a second I overstepped the mark and went too far. But instead she fell into my hand as if it was relief to her.
Three years went by like that. She let me cuddle her and I gained enough trust for her to crawl into my lap in the mornings, eat and snuggle with me. We made her a little house outside and my neighbour made her shelter as well.
I wished I could keep keep her inside, but I have a terrifying little terrier who only kind of tolerated her. She chased the poor black thing and I’d be angry at her, but I didn’t really get anywhere with that particular relationship.
I called her in the mornings and I usually heard her before I saw her. She had this very specific singing meow which always made me laugh. She crawled onto my lap and purred, snuggled and massaged my legs with her sharp little claws. I didn’t care. I just wanted her t get as many cuddles from me as possible. She never wanted them to stop. And I never wanted to either.
I’ll never be able to repay her for the trust she showed me, for the love she gave and for those warm minutes and hours with her when I knew she felt safe because she was in my arms.
One day she came to the house with a bad limp. I thought she fell and that it would get better. It didn’t. We managed to get her to the vet and they said the limp was from her spine and that nothing was broken. She would never fully walk again.
In the end, my mom kept her and took care of her. She finally became an inside cat. We gave her medicine to help with inflammation and pain. Kept her loved and cuddled. But that only lasted for three months. She started to be in a lot of pain and was dragging her hind legs behind. We put her to rest just two days ago. And it was agony.
I miss her little heart so much. She taught me so much and gave an amount of love I can only hope to have repaid somehow and in some way. So I want to say thank you to the tiniest of silent teachers and a goodbye. She was loved and she will be missed. I hope there is a better place on the other side and that she’s getting plenty of cuddles from my dad and wet doggy licks form my big boy. Rest easy, my little love.