Khalas! Enough is enough. I had been waiting for a moment for my not-so-baby 7kg cat, Neo (pronounced “Nayo,” from the Sesotho name meaning gift), to make his debut in my writing. This little rascal cat was found on my school campus and worked his way into the hearts of the high school students and principal and was called by the name of the school mascot, Eddie. He was constantly running in the front doors of the lobby, weaseling his way into classrooms and offices and laps. But, with cat allergy concerns, and long school holidays without company, he needed a stable home. I gave him one last autumn.
After leaving South Africa, breaking with my last cat, Arrow, and parting ways with an ex-boyfriend, I have found it incredibly hard to make space in my heart for new loves. Neo would accept none of my reluctance. A truly Muslim cat, he woke with the call to prayer at 4:30am, working his whiskers up my nostrils, nestling his head upon my cheek. He was on my artwork, my students’ sketchbooks, my laptop, my dinner plate, he was in my plants, between my knees on the toilet, he was everywhere. I learned how to pluck him, from my face, to the floor. I hid my artwork to avoid the unseemly paw prints. My world, my house, my energy became intertwined with his. Continue reading “In Death, there is Life”