Tinker toddles
by Jolene
Ten years ago, my dad came home form work, with a cardboard box, he lifted out a tiny tabby kitten, my heart leaped with joy, it was a total surprise, and at a point in my life when despair was what I was experiencing. This cat who my mum named 'Tinker' made his home with us, we were bowled over by his cuteness and playfulness, suddenly I had purpose and a friend. Through the years as Tinker grew his personality was one of a kind, he was kind and affectionate at times and others he conflicted with his wild side and could play rough resulting in a scratch or bite on me. But as he got older and so did I, our demeanor's changed and he grew to be gentle and I learned when he needed affection and when he needed to be left alone by his body language. He came and went when he wanted, as cats do, but his love was always apparent, I'd look forward to seeing him in the morning, hearing him greet me and look for his food, he was a fussy eater and could be stubborn if he wasn't happy with what he was given. Tinker was quick to forgive, like if we accidentally stepped on his paw or tail, he'd rub his head up to our legs, letting us know it was alright, he taught me it's important to forgive. Always looked forward to seeing him when I got him from work, sitting in the window or under it, and he'd greet me with a 'meow' and rub his head on my feet on legs. Another special thing about Tinker, he could back himself up when coming through the window, now that takes skill. He was very mischievous, he liked to climb up under my duvet and hide there, all I'd see is this mound, and then he'd purr. Earlier this year, we noticed that his nose was scratched, probably due to fighting, and it wasn't healing. We took him to the vet and he diagnosed him with cancer, it broke my heart, and there was nothing that could be done, the vet told us to enjoy him and the time we have left. Ever since that day, I've loved Tinker more and just knowing that the day would come when I'd have to say goodbye, hung over me like a dark cloud, over the last few weeks, We noticed his nose was getting worse and my mum and I talk about what we're going to do. Thing is he still had a healthy appetite and was still quite playful, but we could tell certain things about him weren't the same, as having spent all those years as a family, we would notice. I talked to him plenty and told him how much I loved him and he'd be going to a better place. The fateful day came on Saturday 13th October 2018, he'd slept in the verandah that night as he did the night before, and that morning he greeted me as always, his meow softer, he hardly touched his food and just sat there. Later I had a talk with my mum, who said that he looked severe and we'd have him put to sleep soon. went to the supermarket and my mum called to tell me that his nose had started bleeding and they'd called the vet, I tried to hold it together and rushed home. Tinker was outside and I stayed with him talking and soothing him. I sat on the bench and he sat beside me, even in suffering he was affectionate and rubbed his head up to my arm as I stroked him and told it'd okay. The vet came and saw that state my mum and I were in, he consoled us and told it was the right thing to do. He gave us time to say goodbye, Tinker panicked a bit, I picked him up and held him for the last. I broke down as I told mum he was my companion, but kept telling myself it was the right thing to do, as to continue seeing him suffer was not right. The vet wrapped him in a towel and brought him to me, consoling and apologising as he bear witness to our pain. I took him and broke down again, his softness and warmth still present. My dad dug a grave outside in front of the tree and I placed him in a shoe box, and placed him in the grave, my heart breaking as I said goodbye to my dear friend. I don't know how I'm going to go on as this little being gave such purpose, but I'll keep all the memories(there are too many to share) in my heart and he'll live on there. Tinker brought such love and joy into our lives and I'm better having him be a part of it, I'm sure I did the same for him. To you Tinker, you're in a better place now, well and healthy and we shall see each other some day again my little toddles.

Comments would be appreciated by the author, Jolene
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