My calico cat Polar was a beautiful cat, a very vocal cat with a personality that took me months to decipher, understand and adapt to. She was obedient one day and a rampaging, disobedient, rascal the next. She did very peculiar things like sleeping on her back with her legs open, snuggling up next to my laptop to feel the hot air from the vents, waking me up at 6am on the dot EVERY morning, cleaning herself like a prissy germaphobe but terrified by the sight, sound or feel of water. I watched her grow from a scared, clumsy, tiny kitten to learning every crevice and corner of her new domain. Jumping through windows, crawling into tight spaces and trying to squeeze into drawers and my closet every chance she got.
She was not my “pet”, I soon realised I wasn’t her “owner”, she was my room-mate, my friend, a source of joy that re-energized me after my twelve hour days as a working college student with just a meow. She had her way of instructing me when and where to pet her, then there the times that she wanted to be left alone, to lay on my upstairs bedroom windowsill and meow at passersby below.
She had the most unusual of coats – a mostly black head and tail with hints of brown. I gave her the name “Polar” as she was dark at the “poles”, much to the chagrin of my younger sister who wanted to name her something more ladylike. Her body was as white as could be with random spots of brown and black, she appeared to glisten in the sunlight, especially in the mornings as she watched me get ready for work from her windowsill perch taking the time to attack me at strategic times, such as when I sat to put on my socks or bent down to refill her kitten chow and water – the last thing I usually do before scampering out the door while she was busy eating, as 9 times out of 10 I knew she would chase after me. Her eyes were her best feature – a golden brown that changed shape in varying light, as I write this I remember her eyes being the only clue she was stalking me in the darkness and how they reflected the light of the midday summer sun as she stood next to my ankles purring as I hanged my laundry on a weekend. My calico sidekick and friend.
I found myself sharing stories about my dear Polar to everyone and anyone who would listen – my classmates, my coworker, my family, my gamer pals, my neighbour, my taxi driver, other pet owners etc. I couldn’t help but share they joy that Polar had injected into my life every chance I got. To think she came into my life so unplanned mere weeks before a long-term romantic relationship I was involved in abruptly dissolved. She kept my home from being an overly negative sea of memories and regret and unknowingly was helping to heal a wound that might have drowned me in sorrow.
Polar left this world minutes after seven on Sunday September 22, 2013. Drawn to the chatter of kids walking back and forth buying ice cream. She was hit by a car and died minutes later right before my eyes, her last few movements seeming to respond to my terrified voice. Mere seconds before she was walking all over my keyboard as I was editing YouTube videos I planned to publish on my channel during the upcoming week. One of those same videos was the third installment of my “Diary of a First Time Cat Owner” series. A series where my Polar was the star. In four months she had grown so much but I can still remember clearly picking up the 2 month old Kitten from the Jamaican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in late May.
Polar I feel like I have failed you, I failed to protect and care for you despite all you have done for me during the four months you were a part of my life. You may have been a cat but you meant more to me than many humans and I hope you can forgive my failure as you reside in heaven looking down on me. You were the most awesomest bestest cat to ever live and it was a privilege to have known you. Know that you will NEVER be forgotten, know that you will NEVER be replaced, know that you occupy a special place in my mind and my heart… forever.