Kids always amaze me with how well, how…effectively…they grieve, and my son is no exception. Saturday was ‘Australia Day’ and we lost a family member.
He had been missing a few days, and I knew that he would never not come home if he could, but I couldn’t help hoping…we’d been out calling, asking people, taking the dogs to look for him…
I woke up early and had this feeling I should have another quick walk around while Bailey was watching tv. I found poor Simba laying on his side a few meters from the house, and he looked like he’d been hit by a car a few days before, hid somewhere and then dragged himself home to die :’(.
We have a lot of animals and love them all, and growing up we always had 3 or 4 cats on rotation…but Simby was extra special. He was bossy and opinionated and an amazing mouser. He was very much my cat, except for a when I brought puppies home and he chose Bailey as his sidekick for a few weeks, making sure I knew he was not pleased and I would be shunned.
I tried to keep him as an indoor cat but he wasn’t having it…gradually I stopped worrying about him, he always seemed to be in calling range, climbing trees and playing with the dogs.
Of course I wish I’d kept him in now
When I told Bailey he cried a little, then asked to see him. I had covered him with a blanket so I just pulled it back enough so he could see it was Simba underneath. When we came back in he cried for a couple of hours, all curled up with our other cat Zazu… We buried him and he covered his body with flowers and said ‘I will miss you so so much Simby, and I loved you even when you were so naughty’
He was naughty too, a real shit of a cat. His favourite game was to wait on top of a door for Bailey to walk underneath, to then jump on him so heavily he would fall over.
‘Simba you are not my friend! You’re not allowed in my room forever!’
Of course Bailey’s been a bit quiet, but now a couple of days later he says he still misses him but feels ok, because Simba had a good life and ‘we can still love him, we just can’t pat him and give him food now’.
He’s absolutely right.