This I Believe

Clare - Altamont, New York
Entered on November 8, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Someday everyone has to realize that there is always light at the

end of the tunnel. That there is a cure for sadness, well, besides

chocolate. That no matter how dark life seems, time will go on and

wounds will be healed. That everyone has sad days, but the world

doesn’t stop turning because someone is aching. I learned this all-

important lesson in summer 2007. Those were the saddest days of my

life.

There was an indescribable ache inside of me, where something

was missing. I couldn’t imagine ever being happy again, being whole

again.

But I didn’t feel that way for no reason. And the reason was Ixi.

My adorable little gray kitty cat, Ixi. The cat I had had my whole life

was fading away.

I couldn’t imagine life without her. She was a part of me, and I

had loved her since the day I was born. I had never considered life

without her, until she got sick. While we were in Cape Cod for a week

and our neighbor was taking care of Ixi, I didn’t think about her so

much. But when we got home she was all we could think about. She

wouldn’t eat, she wouldn’t take her pills. She lay on the couch all day

and gloom infected us. Every spare moment we worried about her.

I tried to imagine what it would be like to lose her, how I would

deal with it. Tried to reassure myself that everything would be okay,

that I would get through it. But I never really believed myself. It was

more than one night that I cried myself to sleep. Those few weeks are

the part of my life I would do anything to forget.

I had such memories of Ixi though. Petting her, playing with her,

listening to her meow. Of course there were other cats in the world

that I could love, but Ixi was the only one I had ever had. She was so

special to me. Life without my Ixi cat sounded impossible.

But soon I would have to live without her. It was September 1st.

Ixi was doing so terribly that my mom was taking her to the vet to see

what could be done. I was watching TV when the phone rang. My dad

answered it. I froze. Somehow I knew it was my mom. And I was right.

My dad appeared in the living room doorway, tears in his eyes. I said

“What is it,” but I knew what the answer would be.

“There wasn’t anything they could do. We have to go over there

to say goodbye,” he said, letting his tears flow. Suddenly there were

tears in my eyes. Everything was so cold and gray and unreal. This

couldn’t be happening. But it was.

I can’t describe what happened next to anyone. The pain of it, the

unreality. When we got home from the vet, all three of us sat there,

crying as hard as we had ever cried, if not harder. Finally, the tears

stopped flowing. We had to go on, even though the ache was still there.

That day, the next day, and maybe the day after that, I was

never really happy. I could never really stop thinking about the fact

that I would never see Ixi again. I knew there would be other cats, but

it felt like none could ever match Ixi. The hole in my heart caused by

her loss might not be felt after a while. but it would never be filled.

Even though the day I lost Ixi was the saddest day of my life, it

did teach me that important lesson. Losing her didn’t change anything

about my life. Even though it seemed like it, the clock didn’t stop while

we were sitting on the couch crying. Everything has gone on as planned.

I still have the same interests, the same friends, the same world that

I had before. And now I have something even more beautiful, a new

kitten.

This kitten is so special because we found him after someone

abandoned him. I thought no cat could ever be as special as Ixi, but

Hamlet (that’s his name) comes close. For example, Ixi never slept in

my bed with me at night, but Hamlet does almost every night. If I had

let losing Ixi end my happiness, I wouldn’t be able to feel this way when

Hamlet came along. And if we still had Ixi, there wouldn’t have been a

vacancy for a cat when Hamlet came along. Ixi will always have a

treasured place in my heart, but I’m glad I realized that time wouldn’t

stop and let my life go on.