It has been a little over two weeks now since my family and I lost our most-beloved and treasured Pepsi. For eighteen and a half years, this little ginger flump filled our lives with utter sunshine and complete delight.
As someone who largely worked (and continues to work) from home, Pepsi was my constant companion, my happy distraction, my most trusted confidant…my devoted friend. Many’s the time he would be sat sleeping upon my lap as I worked on a story or other piece of writing. At other times, he would unleash such violent vitriol if he desired feeding and I wasn’t prompt enough in the execution of his whims and wishes. It saddens me immensely to think that I’ll never again be the innocent victim of his vocal and oft-hysterical diatribes.
His singular importance to me rendered him an essential character in a number of my stories – Keeping Christmas and An Average Christmas Eve to name but two. His loss guarantees him a featured role in many more stories to come.
Of course, this tragedy is felt most keenly in the little things; the hourly checking to see if his bowl was empty; the jingle of his bell coupled with the sound of his little paws bounding merrily upon the hallway floor – sounds that always filled my heart with unfettered joy; sounds I’ll miss forever. Attached to these, the softness of his fur, his Teddy Bear smell, his little nose that whistled when he slept and his face; that truly beautiful, perfect face with bright green eyes that pierced the heart.
It was often remarked by my wife and children that Pepsi had me wrapped around his finger (or paw). He did. There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for him and he knew it. And in return, he gave me that most precious of gifts – his unconditional love.
Pepsi now rests in a sacred spot in our garden, illuminated by bright lights and flickering candles. His presence around the house is still keenly felt – his spirit most assuredly walks abroad. He loved Halloween and Christmas – he really did – and it’s incumbent upon us – his little family – to ensure his gravesite is suitably bedecked in holiday finery each and every year.
Well-meaning friends have suggested opening our home to ‘another cat’. But how do you replace the irreplaceable? Though he undoubtedly took the outward form of a cat, Pepsi possessed all those attributes we so zealously seek for ourselves as humans. He was – he remains – to those whose lives were touched by him, UTTERLY MAGNIFICENT.