When I found you I knew you were the one, your pale rimmed eyes making you look a little like you were wearing Harry Potter glasses. As I held you in my arms you snuggled into my neck and just a short time later you were coming home with me.
That first day you retreated into the wooden house I had bought you and stared out a little sorrowfully, slowly munching on hay, probably wondering on what strange planet you had landed. You were always a brave boy though and the very next day you were out exploring the room and rubbing your chin on everything you could find, marking it as your own.
I lay on the floor, silently telling you that we could be friends and a short time later you accepted the invitation and flopped down on the rug next to me, totally at ease and recognising that yes you were home, and oh boy were you going to be the master of all you surveyed.
Our lives fell into a pattern together. You would sort through the washing as I hung it in the garden; if I wasn’t fast enough with your food you would pick up your heavy ceramic bowl and throw it across the floor; and you would always want to check out exactly what I was doing at every moment. You were an adventurous boy and as such your quest was to explore, to seek out every tiny corner of every room, to scale furniture and to never accept that you could be held back. I loved you for that.
I laughed at you as you ran about, jumping, binkying and so in love with life. We lay in the sun just inside the patio doors, staring up at the sky and dreaming of the future. A future I always believed I could have with you, but never would. You let me snuggle into your fur when I cried and you would sit for hours while I caressed your ears.
Many times during the day you would groom your coat, always wanting to look your most handsome and I would smile as you raised your big back foot above your head and wobbled on your bottom with the effort. You had hind feet like big fluffy slippers and when I ran my finger along them you would scrunch them up, just as I have a habit of doing with my toes when I’m in bed.
At times you went off your food and this increasingly happened in the last few weeks. I never knew there was something more serious underlying it, but every time I felt a chill run through me. It was as though we were connected and until you were eating again and happy I felt like I could focus on nothing.
So we went on. In the morning you would greet me by circling my feet and making little grunting noises and every evening we would lie together on the sofa, you snuggled into me as I told you how much I loved you.
You were such a happy boy, such a loving boy and you never once grumbled even when you were poorly.
Then the day came when you left me, so unexpectedly, just when I thought I was nursing you back to health. It broke my heart open and now I see you everywhere, in all your familiar places. I call out to you when I come home before I catch myself and realise that you are no longer there.
Your absence brings me such pain and yet your presence brought me such joy that I would go through all this again in a blink of an eye if I had to make the choice.
I will never forget you beautiful boy, I will never stop loving you. But for now it’s au revoir until we meet again.