There are times in our lives that change who we are. Days, months and years can fly by without any major significance... Until this last year.
No, this isn’t yet another blog on Covid 19, I think that’s had enough attention. This is a personal dedication to my best, furry, feline friend Sushi... aka Sushimon, Su Su, Soosty Su.
Pets partner with us and share our most intimate, personal times. They are there for us when no one else is looking, or at the times when other people would want to just turn away. There they are, right there next to you, in front of you, or indeed on top of you. Shedding fur, making holes and sitting in awkward places digging in their paws.
They follow you to the toilet, the shower, and sit and stare. They accompany you to the places no one else would, for you are their whole world, their source of food, their security, their family.
Many a carpet gets ruined; mugs just don’t stay on tables or surfaces, and end up broken on the floor in a game of ‘I’m going to get your attention, even if you fall out with me’! Somehow though, we adapt and change for these furry friends, we change OUR lives for THEM!
Sushi was a street cat, rescued from a wheelie bin at a shopping centre in Dubai. When I met him, he walked straight over to me, immediately wanting some love and playtime. It was his character that I loved, from the day that we met. He was an excitable kitten that ran up the back of my legs and onto my left shoulder. Once perched there like a parrot, he would nuzzle into my neck and purr. This is how we connected.
As Sushi grew bigger, racing up the back of me was no longer an option, but jumping from the floor to my shoulder was a daily occurrence. If you’ve known Sushi, and loved him... he will have been on your shoulder too. Always the left and never the right. Did he choose this side to hear the beat of my heart that little bit clearer....? We will never know.
Sushi was ‘The Dude’, the male in the house, and the boss. He was also a complete flirt, making everyone feel special, dealing out his attention and inquisitive nature to anyone that came to his house. Again, if you knew Sushi... he has sat on your lap.
His culinary tastes were unusual. He enjoyed salad... lettuce a firm favourite, closely followed by popcorn. Yes that’s right folks, popcorn! If you were brave enough to leave a loaf of bread or some meat out it would be gone in the blink of an eye. Many a loaf has been lost and dragged around the kitchen floor. Meat.... oh yes, he would steal your sausage and run off with your lamb chops, no problem!
After ten years of apartment living in the desert, Sushi was uprooted and went on an adventure, an adventure that involved Sushi and his sister travelling on a plane for the first time. A traumatic experience and one that I’ll never forget; his pink nose and wide eyed look when we were reunited....he was scared, confused and lost, and these are the looks you never want to see on your pets.
Once we had settled and acclimatised, Sushi was the king of his castle again. Now living in a large house, with many rooms and stairs to scratch he would rush to the door and yearn to venture outside. Being a indoors cat for so long, and having zero street savvy, I decided not to let him out.... but instead take him out on a lead.
Well, wasn’t he popular? And didn’t I look like a prize prune, taking my cat for a walk? This last year Sushi has been in every one of my neighbours' houses and made a place for himself in their hearts too. His confident, cool, collective manner made him lovable and relatable to everyone, even if they weren’t cat lovers to start with!
You might have mistaken Sushi’s character for a dog's. Well I did. I think nature meddled with him and put a dog in a cat's body. He was unlike any cat I’ve known. In sad and anxious times he was there to comfort me. Right next to me in my arms, looking up. Nuzzled into my neck, as close as he could get, he was my welcome when I returned from work, and my reason for coming home.
During the last few years Sushi grew into an old man, he was slow, stiff and sleepy. At the beginning of this year I could see that he was getting older, thinner and slower, and tried to imagine my life without him in it and the void he would leave, a huge chapter lasting fifteen years and most of my adult life lived out with this furry friend.
Two months ago Sushi the Dog Cat died peacefully in his sleep, aged 15. He lives on in my heart, and I believe in my house. He was my friend, my angel, my 'constant' and my grounding, and at times he has been my reason to keep going. I miss him every day, and I feel him with me still.
If Sushi made an impact on you, if he sat on your shoulder, or your lap then please tell me how you remember him. Let’s honour him with our favourite memories, he always loved the attention!
Rest in Peace my handsome Soosty Su. I will love you forever more and so will Princess ❤️