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jrichard88
31 years old
Male
St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Born May-18-1988
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Joined: 7-August 10
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Last Seen: 28th July 2011 - 08:57 AM
Local Time: Feb 21 2020, 05:31 AM
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AIM simplythebest2k1
Yahoo shadowofthewind1988
ICQ 41728000
MSN guyofownage@gmail.com
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jrichard88

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14 Aug 2010
I don't really know much of what to say, aside from it being only 8 days since, at a moment's notice, I lost my best friend in the world. If you have not already read my tribute post, you may do so by going here:

http://lightning-strike.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5953

I still get the shakes and I barely sleep. Yet already my so-called "friends" are not only telling me to get over it, but they are treating it as no big deal (as one put it, "other people in the world are suffering worse than you are"). I'm so fragile and sensitive right now and it just feels like none of them can respect that. Heck, a couple of them somehow found themselves offended when I told them otherwise (and another just completely forgot the ordeal altogether and asked me if my sleep deprivation and mood swings had anything to do with my diet - HUH?). It just feels like no one really understands what I've lost here, and I find myself even more hurt knowing that people I should be able to rely on aren't being in any way supportive. I absolutely LOATHE this whole mentality people get where they say "it's just an animal, what's your problem?" I've found inner peace through Nuisance's presence with me, yes, and that's a very good thing because I can't even imagine the shape I'd be in if I hadn't felt it. But that doesn't mean I don't hurt. It still hurts more than anything I've felt in my life so far. And the fact that my so-called friends aren't even being remotely respectful just amplifies those feelings even more. It's times like these where I wonder if Nuisance really was the only real friend I had.
9 Aug 2010
I'm new here, but I wanted to be able to share my story in the hopes that I can provide everyone here with words of comfort, inspiration, or possibly both.

On the night of August 6th, 2010, my life was changed forever. My faithful companion and best friend for 13 years, my cat, Nuisance, was put to sleep as a result of kidney failure.

Nuisance first came into my life on August 21st, 1997, when I was 9 years old. She came from a litter of kittens from our next door neighbor, a good friend of my mom's. My mom's friend originally named her "Pepper", but combined with her personality as well as her striking resemblance to a cat my mom owned when she was young, she was renamed "Nuisance". She was originally intended to be a family pet, but that night, I bonded with this tiny, 3 month old kitten. Thus began a bond that would last her entire lifetime here on earth.

I have so many incredible stories and things I could say about this cat, and excuse me if I ramble, because there are A LOT of stories. She had a unique, distinct personality all her own. Her cry was also unique - I've never heard anything like it. It was in a bit of a lower register than most other cats, meaning even if she was in a room full of other cats, I could pick her out based on her cry alone. Our birthdays were within a few days of each other, so we'd almost always celebrate together. There was a little in-joke at varying points - when I turned 10 years old, she turned 1, so the joke within the household was that I was turning 10 and she was turning 01. That joke was brought back just last year in 2009, and we hadn't even seen it coming - I turned 21, while she turned 12.

She blatantly ignored my parents' authority and would only listen to me. As a kitten, I called her "Noony", which she would always come running to if I called. As she matured, this name was quietly retired, as she became "my girl", "my kitty", "my best girl in the world", "my top quality kitty", as well as a plethora of other variations. She was the smartest cat I've ever seen in my life. She had an incredible ability to communicate her exact wants and needs through body language. You would know exactly what she wanted each time, to the point where it was impossible not to know. Whenever I'd speak to her, her big green eyes would focus intently on each and every word. Sometimes, she'd even speak back to me if she felt it was needed. She was an outdoor cat, and if she wanted out in the middle of the night, she knew exactly how to go about it, and this is amazing, because I have never seen an animal with this much forethought. She would go and bug the family dog, eventually annoying him enough that he'd go wake up my parents, who would then get annoyed and let her outside. She knew exactly what she was doing, too, and would do it whenever she wanted to. I often received complaints from my parents about this little habit of hers, but I don't think they cared too much, because they'd rarely do anything about it.

Being an outdoor cat, she was an avid hunter and we got plenty of little surprises over the years, of many different species. There were the usual mouses and birds, but also rather uncommon catches like bats, and once, even a chipmunk(!). One of the funniest things about this was my mom got annoyed one day and told her that if she wanted to hunt, that was fine, but to stop bringing them home with her. Nuisance understood her perfectly, as she began hiding her catches underneath the porch of the little old lady next door. You can imagine that poor woman's reaction when she found a graveyard under her porch. Trust me, I heard about that one from my parents. Whenever I heard, "Do you know what YOUR cat did today?", I knew I was in for another doozy. Another fun memory I have happened within the last few years, actually. We always worried a little about Nuisance when she went outside, because even full grown, she was a smaller than average cat (around 8 pounds). There were other neighborhood cats out and about, and we knew she got into fights sometimes (as evidenced by a tiny piece of her left ear that went missing one day), but we were especially concerned a few years ago when some large breed cats moved into the neighborhood. These cats were huge, one of them was almost as big as our mid-sized dog. So what happens? One of these cats stepped into Nuisance's territory. Nuisance proceeded to beat the ever loving crap out of this cat that was at least 2 or 3 times her size. I was not home to witness this, but I was told that it was truly a sight to behold. In spite of her being a clearly skilled brawler, she was also very prim, proper, and ladylike most of the time, always tucking in all 4 of her legs when laying down, grooming herself often. She had not one, but TWO beds. One was a nice big pillow she liked to stretch out on, and another was a proper cat bed, with a gold plate reading "Celebrity" on it. Considering her prim, proper, ladylike demeanor, this was somehow appropriate. Sometimes, I would come home late at night after being out with friends, and the first thing I'd hear after getting in the door would be Nuisance screaming at me, almost as to say "Where have you been!? Do you have ANY idea what time it is!?" Oh yes, I would get scolded. This was truly a case of not me owning her, but her owning me. All this would certainly be enough for you to say, "Wow, what a cat!" But that only scratches the surface.

When I was 12 years old, I was in a very dark period of my life. I was depressed and very suicidal. After failed attempts, I distinctly remember sitting down on the couch one day, just completely disconnected from the world. Nuisance sensed this, and jumped up on the couch next to me. She began cuddling against me, nuzzling under my arm. That day, in her own way, she was telling me how much she cared, and that I was worth it. So much of my self-loathing and depression seemed to vanish into thin air that day. In only a few minutes, this cat did something that many people had tried to do and failed - she got through to me and made me feel as though life was worth living after all.

Many years later I was back in a similar position, but far worse. I'd been showing signs since my early teens, but the reality of full-blown obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) hit me like a ton of bricks. I finished college in November 2008, and after that, it really began to take over my life. I had such strong contamination fears and such intricate ways to deal with each specific one that it would be impossible for me to explain them to you and have them make sense. Let me just tell you it was really bad and I did not leave the house for exactly one year, and within that year, there was a 4 month period in which I did not leave my room for any reason (let your imagination fill in the blanks). Layers upon layers of latex gloves, household cleaners, it was a horror I simply cannot do any justice to in words. Anyway, this time, there was little even Nuisance could do to coax me out. She'd routinely check on me when my door happened to be open, and temporarily relied on my parents for her basic needs. The day I walked out of that room, her eyes lit up and I don't think anything could have stopped her from purring like an engine. She was so happy to see me. She didn't give up on me like one doctor did, who wanted me to be institutionalized. She never lost faith in me, and as soon as I was able to see her again, it was like that time I spent isolated had never happened. The kind of fierce loyalty she exhibited, even through this, is something I've never seen from any other cat.

Do I have regrets from over the years? Sure, a bunch. When I started seeing my now-ex girlfriend when I was 16, Nuisance would wait on the front porch for hours and hours waiting for me, past sundown, even, before coming inside for the night. I was 16 and had never been in a serious romantic relationship, and the newness and excitement surrounding it caused me to basically forget about everything and everyone else around me. Yet she never held a grudge. Any time I was able to give her, even a fleeting few minutes each day, was somehow more than enough. Even though my OCD continued, and limited my contact with her in the respect that I couldn't sit down on any of the family furniture, she was still perfectly content when I was able to come out for a few minutes and spend some time with her, whether she was being silly and flopping down on the floor to get her belly rubbed, or if she wanted me to pull back the front shade so we could sit for a few minutes and watch the outside world (well, she sat on the window still, I just stood). It never seemed to matter - as other things occupied my life, as some material things seemed to consume my attention, she was always appreciative of any attention I was able to give her, no matter how little it was on a given day. I of course wish that I could have spent much, much more time with her than I found myself able to, and always felt guilty when I had to walk away, but not only do I think we all have those regrets, but it just never seemed to bother her too much.

And then the day came. The day I could never have predicted in a million years. A day that I thought was still years and years away, especially given her track record of extremely good health, or so it seemed.

There was absolutely no warning. The day before (August 5th), she was running around like her usual self. The next evening, on the 6th, my mom found her in the basement, crying and barely able to move. If you knew this cat, you'd know that even at age 13, she still moved and acted like a kitten, always with a spring in her step. This was highly, highly unusual and left us extremely concerned. At first, I picked her back up and placed her on all fours, only for her to slowly sink back to the ground. At that point, I brought her upstairs and placed her in her bed, which was one of her favorite places to sleep. She slept for a short time, before awakening and trying to stand back up to walk away. She made it - but only about a foot or so past her bed, before she sunk to the ground again. Alarmed, we contacted the local animal hospital. Judging by the distress she was in whenever someone put any pressure on her mid-section, we at first assumed it was something to do with the digestive tract, and that we'd be able to get some kind of antibiotic to fix the problem. Never in my wildest dreams would I expect to find out that her kidneys were 80% gone and that her body was literally full of toxins, poisoning her and causing her to suffer unimaginably. They could rehydrate her and flush the toxins out, but it would be only a matter of days before she was back in the same state, suffering again. After a conversation with my mom out in the waiting room, I returned to the examination room. After some silence, and barely being able to look the vet in the eye, I made the single most difficult decision of my entire 22 years, and informed him that I would like to end her suffering. As he made the necessary preparations for the injection, I petted Nuisance and told her how much I loved her. She was not even able to raise her head to look at me by this point, so I crouched down and gently pushed her chin up to look at me. Her eyes, despite being clouded from the poison and all the pain she was in, returned a warm glow of love and admiration. She jumped up and fought when the vet tried to insert the needle. As soon as the vet informed me he was going to begin administering the injection, I pet her once again, and crouched down once more to look into her eyes. Within seconds, she closed them for the final time, and she was gone.

I came home and just, guys, I don't know how to describe what I felt. I had her collar with me, as well as the pillow case I'd wrapped her in to take her to the vet's. I'd started off the day like any other day, with this amazing, one of a kind creature in my life. And now, at less than a moment's notice, she was gone. I held it together around my parents, but as soon as I shut my bedroom door behind me, I almost fell to my knees. I would have, had I not grabbed onto the nearest sturdy object. The agony is simply not describable in words, but if I were to try to, I'd liken it to being shot. I felt numb and I was shaking, almost on the floor, with so many tears that my eyes had a hard time keeping up. My best friend in this entire world, the one who never left my side, even when I was being a complete and total idiot. Even when things were grim, I could still look at myself in the mirror and know that I was the center of this cat's entire universe, giving me reason to go on. Heck, I didn't even move out of my parents' house because I was afraid of uprooting her in later life. I didn't feel it was fair to confine her to a small apartment after she'd been an outdoor cat her entire life, or to introduce her to a new, potentially dangerous neighborhood that I'd be unlikely to trust. She was my absolute everything, even during times where it may not have seemed it. We had a bond that defied everything, whether that was time spent together or mistakes made. We truly loved one another, and that never stopped. I felt like someone had taken my insides, put them in a blender, and cranked it to full power. I was a broken man. I didn't just cry, I was bawling practically non-stop for nearly 12 hours. It did not help that I was also in the midst of a crisis of faith. I'd been seriously reevaluating my religious beliefs in the few years prior, and had eventually decided to part with organized religion, instead relying on my own philosophies and life instincts to guide me. I still believed in God, but I hadn't yet determined how I felt about the idea of an afterlife, and seeing Nuisance lifeless on that table had me terrified that my unresolved beliefs, with the connection we had, would have led to her not having life after death. On top of the indescribable grief and anguish I felt, this permeated my thoughts most of all. I was so worried, in fact, that I slept maybe a a combined 4 hours up through noon the next day. That night, however, things changed.

It was about 5 AM on August 8th, and suddenly, just suddenly, after I'd continued crying all day long and through the night, this wave of peace and serenity hit me. The grief, the anguish, the negativity, was all washed away in one fell swoop. Then I felt it, an unmistakable presence. She was here. My girl had come home to me. Her entire presence made me feel like she was going to be alright. My faith crisis was over. Even in death, she was here to comfort me, to let me know everything was going to be okay, for her and for me. After that, I slept a full night's sleep (until 4PM the next day!) for the first time since I'd come home. I still cried a few times that day, but I still had this wonderful feeling of peace. Even as I type this, I know she's near, whether that's directly in front of me or in some of her favorite spots outside. I know she's concerned about our family dog (who is 15 years old himself - they grew up together), and I try to make this process (which he still does not quite understand) as easy as possible for him. Whether she's here or elsewhere, she'll always be my girl. She is my faithful and unflinchingly loyal companion in life, the best friend anyone could ask for. And when my days on this earth are over, I hope to see her again, where we can be reunited and spend eternity together.

I still experience intense sorrow at her no longer being with me physically, and that is something that I can only imagine will heal over time. Feeling her presence and knowing that she is safe has given me tremendous inner peace, which will allow the slow but steady healing process to begin. I know that not only is she at peace now, but she is also never too far from me.

The body she left behind is being cremated this Tuesday (August 10th), after which her ashes will be brought home with me for the final time. No matter what, a part of this gorgeous, amazing, intelligent cat will always be with me, whether it's the ashes of her physical remains that will be in my home, or her warm, comforting spiritual presence that comes to visit. She will remain in my heart, forever and always.



Nuisance Alexandria Richard
May 15, 1997 - August 6, 2010
I'll love you forever, my girl.
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