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
There was an indescribable ache inside of me, where something
was missing. I couldn’t imagine ever being happy again, being whole
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
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.
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