When I first decided to get another cat after losing my lovely little Calico rescue; Emmy, in October 2022, I explained to absolutely everyone that the largest inspiration for the decision was the fact that my two mini-Lionhead bunnies (Luna and Gracie) are always cuddled up together in another room. I never get to handle them, and they very rarely are even in the same room as me… So, I wanted a companion for myself. I wanted a new little life who would snuggle with me, sleep in my bed, follow me around, and want to play. I wanted to be able to come home and hear a little patter of paws come running towards me with a little ‘meow’ by way of a greeting!
With Emmy being a rescue cat, she was very streetwise and loved going outside to the point where when the weather was bad and I kept her in the house, she would meow at the door and scratch at the windows. She very rarely came on my lap or purred when I did manage to stroke her… She was a lovely cat, but I think that her difficult start in life really affected her confidence and decreased how friendly she was when there were visitors in the house. It meant that taking her to the Vets – toward the end of her life – was so incredibly difficult that I had to call the Animal Welfare team out to use their catching equipment to get her into the transport carrier and over to the Vets. And during the squabble, she actually bit me, and it almost immediately became infected, and I ended up in hospital on IV antibiotics for a number of days!
When she was put to sleep, I asked the Vet what the best thing to do would be for Emmy’s fluffy best-friend; my mini-Lionhead bunny, Luna and she advised that I get her another friend. She pointed out that it would be a lot easier to introduce Luna to another bunny rather than a new cat, so in January this year, I added another mini-Lionhead to the family (Gracie). By that point (months after losing Emmy) I had recognised that Luna still seemed unsettled and would often run from room to room as though she was looking for something.
The only thing I hadn’t considered in getting Gracie, was that once she had gotten to know Luna, they would rather be with each other than with me! This was hard because I really didn’t/don’t want it to sound as though I regret getting Gracie in any way – if anything, I’m so grateful that I did because she has been the absolute best thing for Luna and that makes her amazing. It makes me thankful for her. For the fact that she’s gotten Luna through her grief in ways that I (frustratingly and sadly) couldn’t. Having the experiences I do in mental illness and traumas, I’m incredibly aware of how meaningful it can be to have someone who genuinely understands you and how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. And, I genuinely feel that whilst Luna has Gracie to empathise with, I have you do that for me.
Going through all of the hardships and traumatic experiences that I have and struggling with my mental health to the gravity that I have; feeling that my dreams are coming true has been an incredibly rare notion over the past fifteen or so years. The most powerful occurrences of this have been through my blog – particularly when I’m NOT Disordered reached one million readers! Aside from this and the odd achievement in my career life, feeling satisfied and content hasn’t come too often… Until you.
Because you, Ruby, are everything I wanted and more! You are loving beyond words, comforting, playful, full of joy and happiness, and so very lifesaving. It is because of you that I haven’t hurt myself for the longest time since the relapse began when I was sectioned in February. It is because of you that I don’t want to die. It’s because of you that I have found my passion for life. For love. For everything. You have saved me, and no amount of ‘National Kitten Days’ would be enough to tell you this… so I guess I’ll keep telling you every single day. When you come on my lap on the settee or on my head in bed(!) and start purring... because every breathe you take is a reason to be grateful that I’m still alive.
I love you, forever