RIP STELLA LOUISE ROBERTSON

Stella Louise Robertson collage of photos with me and my cat stella, typography and photography

RIP Stella Louise Robertson

I am utterly heartbroken by the passing of Stella, my cat. We put her down yesterday and I still cannot believe it. I woke up this morning in devastation that she wasn’t there greeting me. She had lived for 18 years which makes me 3 when she became a part of our family. I barely remember my life before she entered it. Through every milestone I have lived, she has been there. For every relationship or friendship I have cried over, she has been there. For every accomplishment I have had, she has been there.

It’s strange to have such a strong connection to a being that can’t talk but I will argue with anyone who says they can’t communicate. She had character and an attitude of her own. I could understand the emotions she felt and I knew, at times, she could understand me. Our bond was devout, whenever I came home she would be waiting for me meowing atop the stairs. Whenever I awoke for my morning routine, she would follow me and sit outside the bathroom door. When she was hungry she meowed; when she was angry she wagged her tail or scratched or bit; when she was happy she would purr and shut her eyes; when she was frustrated, she would turn her back and lay down in front of you; when she was comfortable, she would stretch her arm out as if she is reaching for you to come closer, even though you’re as close as can be. These may be typical cat actions, but it just goes to show they have their own moods. She was also observant. When I would go to get a glass of water, she would go drink from her dish. When I would make some food, she would go to her bowl. I would smother her in kisses and she would bombard me with licks. Repeatedly, until my skin would feel tender. She always needed a pillow substitute which would usually end up being my leg… but not limited to my face.
I have watched her grow from a kitten to a cat. A runt, to a chubby kid, to a fat teen, to a healthy adult, and to an underweight senior. I’ve seen her get her head stuck in objects like cups or chip bags. I’ve seen her try to jump onto my bed but miss and cling on to the side. I’ve seen her get ultimately hyper and dart across the house for no apparent reason. She has made me laugh countless times. When I was young and my mom would take out the vacuum, I would take her to my room and cover her ears. I would sit with her in my lap and promise to always protect her.
I always spoke her up to my friends. Which is an odd thing to do but everyone I met had to know how important she was to me. If you talked amongst my group they would probably all involuntarily be able to tell you her middle name because I gushed about her so much. Can you name any cat you have encountered’s middle name? It’s not a detail most people share, if their cat even has one at all. But Stella was famous amongst my friends and they could tell you how much I love her. They used to question back before it was even soon a reality, what I would do when she dies. Jokingly, I would say I wanted to get her stuffed so I would have her forever. Which most people found morbid or flat out strange. And I see where they are coming from. Although, I have to admit, seeing her on that table at the vet’s, I was so upset to leave her. It suddenly didn’t seem so crazy to consider taxidermy. If she was in a comfortable position of laying down, it would be relief to at least see her. Maybe I am a little crazy. But the thing I hated most was bringing her there and not being able to bring her home. I wanted so badly to grab her after she had been put to sleep and just take her back with me. I can’t comprehend that I will never see her again. The thought is gut-wrenching. I cried so hard with quick, heavy breaths I could almost feel myself passing out. I felt light-headed, like I was going pale. Which I probably was.
At the start of the appointment, they took her away to sedate her. It took so much time my mom and I were getting very impatient. These are her remaining moments alive and here we are crying without her next to us. They finally brought her in. She was motionless, already looked passed. Her back was facing us so I couldn’t see her eyes. The doctor didn’t say when she was going to do it. She just began. I was internally mad that I wasn’t looking in her eyes but I had to focus in the moment. I kissed her head as the injection was still going and rested my head against her body. All the while, bawling my eyes out. At the end the vet checked her heartbeat and told us she was gone. Her eyes were not closed. I walked around to the other side to look at her expression. She didn’t look in pain or even scared. It was as if she was just about to blink again. Like if I waited a little bit, she would. But it never happened. She was gone. I cried and continuously kissed and hugged her. I didn’t want to leave. My stepdad pulled me away, but I didn’t want to go. I told her I loved her and he dragged me out of the room. I looked behind at her lifeless body on the table thinking they don’t deserve to have her. She should come home with us. Before I knew it we were already leaving.
It was the hardest day of my life. I am still sitting here crying, light-headed over this girl. She was everything to me. When I would go away on vacation even if only for a weekend, I would miss her. And now I will never get to see her again. I try to remain positive about it. I can’t tell you how many times I have played the “Goodbye May Seem Forever” song from the Fox and the Hound to make me feel better. For those of you unfamiliar the lyrics go like this:
“Goodbye may seem forever,
Farewell is like the end.
But in my heart’s the memory,
and there you’ll always be.”

which is more than true. She will always be in my memory and I will never stop boasting about her, ever. My life would not be the same without having had her in it. I don’t think I would have learned to receive or give unconditional love the way she taught me. Even though she’s a cat, she had her annoyances and at times, she made me mad. Though, no matter what, we always ended up cuddling together eventually. I never understood people that don’t like cats but I guess it’s just the relationship you have with them. There is nobody else who I have met who has the same kind of cat-ship I had with Stella. There are a few I know who are bound to their dogs, but I think Stella and I had something unique. She was basically human to me. And I loved her incredibly. Love her incredibly.
I hope she is at peace now, and has relief from any pain she may have had. This is a life that has impacted mine more than people would believe a cat could. I’m happy that if I know anything, I know that she understood I love her. And by the way that she acted, I know she loved me back. My beautiful Stella Louise, my baby. You made me so happy and I miss you already. I wish I could send you infinite hugs and kisses. You are the perfect cat. Thank you for being a part of my life. I love you.

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