I think it's only right that this post is completely about Archie. Let's face it, I've thought of little else since Tuesday evening.
Anyone that doesn't know- Archie is (was) my cat. I got him in June of year 12- the exact date is marked by a little note in my mobile's calendar that says 'Archie :D'. He was a kitten, ten weeks old, who'd been found as a stray and taken in by the local shelter, but they didn't have room for him, so if they didn't find anyone, they were going to put him down. I have wanted a cat with all my heart since I was tiny, so you cannot imagine how much it meant to me when this woman turned up with this black kitten, with white paws and a little white neck-tie shaped patch.
I don't know if it makes sense to people who haven't had pets, or had a cat, but there's a kind of peace about them. I spent a lot of summer of year 12 just sat on the stairs, with Archie fast asleep in my lap. And I couldn't bear the thought that he'd have been put down- it's a helpless animal. I literally intended to protect him for the rest of his life- slightly pathetic, I know, but he was just a baby- who abandoned him??
Hyperactive moments- he was jittery around people, and left me with the scar that runs vertically down my wrist in a self-harm-like way, when he tried to scrabble away from me because the family were being loud around us. So now I'm left with a permanent reminder that utterly depresses me every time I see it.
He had slightly psychotic times- the first time (okay, every time) he saw his reflection in my bedroom mirror, he growled, arched his back, and ran at it in an attempted attack. I have numerous videos- again, painful.
Last Easter, when he got stuck up a tree- twice, and practically wailed all night long- that's one I'll never forget. Oh, and when the other cat that hangs round in our garden attacked him ¬_¬ Little shit.
So yeah. Coming home on Tuesday, I noted that he wasn't there, but he's not usually in the house on an evening so it didn't stand out. My aunty asking me, 'Have you heard about Archie?' didn't seem weird, I just thought he'd done something stupid. My mum insisting that I sit down before she told me what he'd done...well, that kind of told me everything I needed to know. Turns out he was hit by a car a week ago- the day after I left Dewsbury for Leicester. The neighbour brought him to the door in a box, and my parents spent the day digging in our snow-frozen garden to bury him. Turns out I'd walked right past where he was buried on my way in, and hadn't noticed the new wooden stick that was placed there as a marker. I sort of attempted a joke about him dying of old age by the time I'd finished my degree before I properly started crying. I was also furious. I don't care who the driver was, but I want to them to burn for leaving him out there in the cold, hurt and alone. It's the cruelty of it that still gets to me.
Still, drama over now, and I've stopped welling up at stupid times. I've spent the week studiously avoiding looking at his spot on the stairs, or the landing outside my bedroom. Every time we get back from somewhere I expect him to burst out of the trees of the neighbour's garden, where he used to wait until he heard us open the gate, and would come to wait on the front step, so he could run inside before us when we opened the door. I mean, shit. How long til I forget that?
I get that it's stupid to get this cut up over a pet, but to me, it meant so much to finally get a cat, that Archie was literally a dream come true. He delighted me every time I saw him, without fail, and even up to last week I used to just sit with him as he was curled up in his favourite spot out in the hallway, and watch him sleep. Maybe it's just something about me and non-human company. No social skills needed whatsoever for a cat to appreciate you. I will miss him like hell- so will the rest of my family, but I can safely say we fed him like a Pakistani, and collectively loved him to bits.
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