Disclaimer-This article contains strong language and themes such as graphic violence, post-traumatic stress and animal cruelty some may find distressing. Reader discretion advised
To be honest, I’m really surprised that I’m even able to write this so soon after it happened. This is really hard for me to do, but I’ve got too many thoughts and too much to say, so here we go. I remember studying The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime as part of my GCSE drama coursework. Whilst studying it, I never thought it would become a reality. 2 days ago at around midday I found my cat dead behind our back door. She was laying on the concrete, eyes open and back paws crossed. She looked just like she usually does when she’s sleeping…only this time she wasn’t going to wake up. Upon touching her body, she was still warm and her tail fluffed up like it does when cats get a fright, but her chest wasn’t rising up and down like it always does. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something as still as she was. Feeling devastated was an understatement. The news came from a worker on our estate. After persistent knocking and checking through the spy-hole, I saw he had our housing association logo imprinted on his jumper. Rolling my eyes I just assumed he was here to pester us about a forgotten surveyance appointment or something. After 2 whole rounds of knocking, I caved and opened the door to see a concerned look painted across his face. “Do you have a grey cat?” he urged .
“No she’s brown and stripy.”
“Well, does she have a pink collar?”
“Yes” I replied growing increasingly anxious as to why he was probing me about my pet.
“Yeah, she’s dead.”
She’s dead. She’s dead. These words kept whirling around my thoughts; I was in a state of disbelief. How can something be so alive one minute but so dead another? These words struck my heart the way a knife pierces the thing it’s cutting. All I could reply with at that moment was “ok, thanks for letting me.”
When I saw it, I saw it. I fell to my knees screaming, breaking down in tears. When I used to see this in films I always thought the actors/actresses were being overdramatic. But now I understand because I had never felt that wave of weakness that hit me the way it did. I could no longer be strong. I howled and howled, to the point where a few passerby had to come and comfort me. First thought was that she was run-over, but after closer inspection, it was evident her head had been bashed in….someone had killed my cat. Someone had killed my baby. I think I would have been more ‘ok’ if she’d passed of natural cause or by accident. But bashing someone’s head in to the point where one of their eyes pop out- that’s pretty brutal. It’s hard to believe there are some real sick bastards in this world, but there are. And they probably live a few doors down from you and me. My mind started going one to a dozen trying to figure out why, who, what, how. You may think I’m being OTT but I became attached to her as she was an extension of our family. Also, considering the fact I’m still young and had to encounter such a horrific scene, then yeah, I’m still gonna be pretty fucked up from it.
I’ve grieved before. We buried my grandfather just over a year ago. I never knew him though, so it didn’t really affect me- not the way this has. The thing is, when someone passes, it’s not just the fact they’re not coming back. There’s the immediate impact like the post-death body care. We had to put her in a bin-bag, place her in a box and go through the whole tediosity of trying to find our nearest pet cremation centre. Unfortunately, most animal charities told us they couldn’t help us, making me wonder why they’re even credited with their ‘animal welfare’ status. Seems like it’s pretty easy to adopt a pet but not as straight-forward when you lose one. We eventually managed to find somewhere after almost giving up and settling on jumping the fence and burying her body in the nearest park. It was even worse walking into the vets than walking and finding her body. Everyone else was sitting comfortably with their pets itching and straining on their laps, and here we were standing uncomfortably with an ASOS box in our hands. There was this awkward silence as the other owners didn’t know how to react, which is understandable as it was pretty obvious why we were there.
Since finding her, I’ve had a turmoil of fury and misery lodged in my heart. Yesterday, I wanted to kill the person who killed her. I wanted to run them over 2000 times with a train and gouge their eyes out (and that’s not even touching the surface.) Mentally creating a list of possible suspects, the rage grew and grew inside of me. I promised I would never intentionally hurt anyone, but it’s funny how promises can radically be broken and you transform into something you once hated. Why would someone want to hurt a tiny harmless animal, and to the extreme that they did? Evidently, someone who wanted to hurt us, and they sure did a good job in doing so. It was a very deliberate act as well. She clearly wasn’t killed where we found her due the amount of blood by her head, and her body was laying almost directly outside our back gate. Coincidental, isn’t it? Some say it’s paranoia, I say it’s the truth no one wants to face. Our neighbours are not the friendliest, and have had some deep-rooted grudge against us since the 1st day we moved in. It’s crazy to think someone could hold so much animosity in their heart towards someone, they would lash out at something that’s a part of them. Everyone always said Stripy was the animal manifestation of me, so they really have ripped a part of me out. To me it feels like a subliminal threat- if someone can do that to a small animal, what can they do to us? Why now? Who was it? You also start blaming yourself questioning why you hadn’t of protected her, and if it was somehow your fault. I’d posted her up on my social media a day before- had I somehow enticed someone to her death? I could sit and ponder, but I need to sort out this resentment inside of me before it itself turns to animosity. As hard as it’s going to be, I have to forgive the person who took her away from us. Grievance is a process, not a period. It takes time to get through it, but you will never truly get over it. And that’s ok. It’s ok to feel sad sometimes. It’s ok to feel frustrated sometimes too. It’s ok to reminisce of when that person/thing was still here. But it’s also ok to move on with your life.
My mum’s staying strong, my sister’s finding it difficult. At the moment I don’t know how I’m doing. I guess I’m as alright as I can be. I couldn’t sleep 2 nights ago, but I slept like a newborn last night. When my mind revisits that scream, I get shivers down my spine, and have to repress the need to burst into tears. I think what makes it harder is not having much support from ‘friends’ and people I know. When putting out an Instagram & Facebook message, family friends my mum’s age were more forthcoming, making me think people my age are just heartless dicks and adding another reason to the list of why I can’t get on with people my own age. Having spent most of the day travelling via Uber and buses, and staring out the window watching the people of London go by, it suddenly feels like I really can achieve anything I set my mind to. I guess it’s about turning something negative into something positive. I never thought losing someone would give me this new-found confidence to live life to the fullest…but it has. I’ve never felt so determined and inspired before. It always makes you value life itself and the people around you who make life life. ‘Cause in the end you really don’t know what you have until you lose it.
R.I.P Stripy, when you died a chunk of my heart died too. I have and always will love you. May your spirit live on.
Words by My Superiority Complex
*Under Section 4 of The Animal Welfare Act 2006, “a person is committing an offence if an act of his, or a failure of his to act, causes an animal to suffer [and/or] he knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act, or failure to act, would have that effect or be likely to do so.” The penalties for committing an offence of cruelty or for failing to provide for an animal’s welfare needs include a ban from owning animals, a fine of up to £20,000 or, in some cases, a six-month prison sentence*
RSCPCA 24 Helpline to report cruelty or an animal in distress- 0300 1234 999
Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Line– 0800 096 6606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*All opinions expressed are that of the individual. Ragged CULT Magazine by no means advocates the act of harming or committing a crime against another individual*