Memoir for a Friend.

You know, a lot of shit has been happening to me as of lately, and it’s mostly because of time. I don’t have time for anything anymore. When I’m not at school, I’m at work. When I’m not at work, I’m at school. When I’m at neither, I’m either sleeping or staying up late to attempt to finish my homework that is due at 9:30AM the next morning that I put off again until the last minute. It’s not necessarily my fault. There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to make anything easier for me. However, because of my lack of time, I haven’t made time for the people who matter.

                  I live with my father and am lucky if I see him for ten minutes in the day. It’s usually me shouting at him a goodbye through the bathroom door while he is showering at 7:15AM so that I can get to class on time or it is me walking in at 10:30 at night, rushing over to say goodnight to him so I can get some rest after a long and restless day. No matter what thought, I always make sure to tell him I love him and try to give him a big hug whenever I can.

                  However, not everyone is so lucky. For the last five years, I’ve been taking care of a stray cat that I found right before Hurricane Irene in 2011. I named her “Mamacat,” and she is the sweetest cat I have ever met. She lived on my street, alternating between under my house’s porch to the porch of a family across the street. I learned that she was a family cat that didn’t like staying in the house. The couple soon had a kid that Mama didn’t get along with. So, she would leave the house more and more to avoid the new baby. Soon, the family decided to move and did, without Mamacat. She became a stray, having to survive on her own. However, she wasn’t completely alone.

                  She began coming to visit me almost on a daily basis. I would by some cat food to feed her, and she would sit on my lap and play with me. Seeing her was like sunshine on a cloudy day. Her presence just made me feel so much better, no matter what mood I was in. She would sit with me on sad days and just rub against my legs to try and cheer me up. She would go on walks with me to the local 7/11 at two in the morning when I couldn’t sleep. I looked forward to seeing her whenever I was able to.

                  She has survived everything. She would find somewhere to hide when the weather would get bad. She survived Hurricane Sandy, snow storms, and blizzards. Some days, when the weather was bad, she would let me carry her inside my house and hang out to warm up until she had to go to the bathroom. Then, I would bring her back outside, and she would be back on her way.

                  However, she isn’t as invincible as we all thought. First, she showed up at my house with a cloudy eye. She had the most beautiful green eyes, and it was the first thing I noticed when I saw her. I found out from my neighbor that she had gotten into a fight, and that they had taken her to the vet so that it could get checked out. The eye wasn’t bad enough to be removed, so she became a little pirate cat. She had trouble seeing because of that. So, to feed her, I would shake her food bowl to make sure she knew where it was. Then, there was the blizzard that just hit New Jersey this past January. We brought her on my enclosed porch to get out of the wind, and she was puking and puking, and I was so scared that something was wrong. But, she was okay.

                  Recently, like I mentioned before, I haven’t had much time for anything. I’m barely home. So, when I found out the news about her on April 14th, I was shaken up. I couldn’t stop crying. She had injured her paw and could barely walk on it. She was in a lot of pain. Because of this pain, she wasn’t able to eat too much. My father had bought her softer food so that it was easier to eat. But, she still barely ate that. Then, I heard the worst of it all: that my neighbors were going to take her to the doctor, and if it was her time, she was going to be put down. I knew this day was going to come. However, I didn’t think it would be so soon. I have been so busy with school and work that I hadn’t seen her in weeks. I didn’t know how bad she was getting. I didn’t want to let go.

                  My father told me she had been hanging out on my neighbor’s porch because she couldn’t walk well enough to come to my house. So, I walked over there, and sat on the porch with her. I couldn’t stop crying. I fed her and told her how much I loved her and thanked her for always being there for me when no one else was. I thanked her for listening to my thoughts and for always being so nice to me. I cried for three hours that night, not being able to sleep or get any of my school work done. I cried in my morning class because the thought of her gone haunted me. As much shit I have on my plate, this was the last thing I wanted to deal with.

                  So, this month’s post is for her, Mamacat, the cat who showed me compassion when no one else did. The cat that could survive anything, from storms to speeding cars in my street in which she would sit in the street and make them wait for her to move. The cat that I put my heart and soul into, even though me being near her was dangerous because of my high allergy to cats. I love that cat like she was my own. I will always love her. I don’t want to see her go, but everyone has their time. I just wish it wasn’t now. I wish I was able to give her the time she deserved recently. I wish she wasn’t in so much pain. But, she’ll be okay soon. She’ll always be with me, whether or not time is in my way.

Photo Source: Nicolee Rivera

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