Evita the Bengal, and how she converted me to cats 

#catlove #BengalCats #Cat-Lady #pets #petlove #family-memories

Last november I went back to the Vet’s clinic to bring Evita back home. It was one of the saddest days of my life to bring her back in an urn. I placed her ashes on top of the cable TV box. Evita loved to sit and curl on top of it.

It was  November 14, at 11:00 a.m. when my son Leo and I took Evita to the vet to say good bye.  I feel goosebumps remembering how nervous and heartbroken I felt, but it was time to let her go.

Evita had been sick for almost two months, and even though she had slowed down and kept losing weight, she was not in pain, and still enjoyed her last days eating her favourite food and sitting under the sun in the backyard. Also, to the end she kept her strong and very territorial personality. A diva cat with an attitude!

I am going to miss her always. My beautiful grumpy friend and companion. We – my three children: Antonio, Leo and Valeria,  and I -grew very fond of Evita during the 10 years that she was our loved Bengal Queen. 

Up to my adult life I didn’t like cats. I was mostly afraid of them. Growing up in Honduras there was always a cat in our family home, but they used to spend most of their time outside, and even when they were indoors, I never petted or paid much attention to them. I don’t even remember when or how they died.

In 1982, I went to live in Denmark as an exchange student. My Danish host family had a cat. It was “mors” beautiful pet. I was afraid of him, I’d freeze when he (I can’t even remember his name) got close to me.

Fast-forward a few years and I am married with three young children and I got Tom. This black and white kitty came into my home out of mere necessity. Tom was the solution I needed – a colleague said – as mice were roaming in my backyard.

My children loved and spoiled Tom, and I cared a lot too, supplying the best cat food and making sure he was healthy and happy.

After a couple of years, one day Tom disappeared. It’s still a mystery why he never came back. I used to think that he hated the new German Shepherd puppy we had brought home; maybe he got jealous because the children’s attention was solely deposited on Franky.  I wanted to believe he went too far and probably found himself another home. I thought that maybe he got tired of running away from the new puppy. I wanted to believe he was in a more peaceful home. 

Only now, after I really got to know cats I know that Tom probably found his demise under a car’s tires or else.

Tom’s dissapearance saddened me, but my life kept going. I never shed a tear for Tom.

Ten years ago when Evita came into our family, all notions I had about cats started to change.

This purebred Bengal cat chose me as her favourite human and caretaker. She adopted me and in the process stole my heart.

I will always remember the moment when after a few days of doing the house and its humans’ recognition, Evita decided to take a second look at me, and then jumped on the couch to lie beside me. That was it!  She would follow me around everywhere in the house, will wait by the front door when it was time for me to come home, will yell (literally) for me to open my bedroom or washroom door and let her in, and according to my children’s tales, Evita would be depressed and not herself if I was away for more than one day. 

 If they hadn’t told me, Evita’s endless and very loud “meows” of complaints once I was back in the house made sure I knew how bad she had missed me. 

I didn’t shed a tear for Tom, but the days after I found out Evita had terminal cancer I couldn’t stop crying. It was hard for me to accept that my beloved and loving pet wasn’t going to be around much longer, that her 9th life was slipping away.

I also knew that I wouldn’t allow her to suffer.  Evita had a long and happy life. That diva of a cat was the boss of all of us!

It broke all of our hearts to even think about saying good bye, but we owed it to her.

Evita taught me that’s there nothing to fear of cats. They are extremely smart and -despite some erroneous belief, very loyal pets.

They are not stupid or submissive though. When a cat is mistreated by someone, that someone will probably never again regain a cat’s trust.

Evita was my companion all these past 10 years. She even helped me cope with sadness and hard times. It’s like she knew or sensed when I needed her warm and purring body close to me.

I miss Evita so much, that space in the couch beside me feels emptier, she has left such an indelible mark in our home and hearts.

I know my sons Leo and Antonio and even Valeria (who used to bug the cat too much) are missing her too.

Evita died last November 14, but I still feel her presence at home.

One day last February when I was browsing my Facebook page, the Washington Post had a live presentation about Bengal cats. Four Bengal cats, very similar to Evita, were playing, I’m sure a big smile lit my face. Next, I heard their unique voice, my Evita’s voice, and I started to cry. I miss my Bengal friend.

My children and I keep Evita in our mind and photo memories, tons of happy, funny moments. Leo once said “we are so lucky to have a pet, so many people are homocentric, they’ll never understand that a pet is another member of the family. Our home will never be the same without Evita.” 

Evita  (Feb 19,  2003- Nov 14, 2016)

3 comments

  1. Beautiful story…and I’m sure part of your mourning was even cathartic for the ones you’ve lost before…so sorry you had to suffer this loss…I love pets but I protect myself…I give them away to good families and adopt new ones… I cried enough for pets I guess…I send you my love in a big hug from Choluteca…

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