I find that there are different aspects to missing Tungsten. First and foremost, there is the great sorrow that this neat little cat is no longer alive, no longer enjoying her heated cat-bed, no longer purring after we play our game, no longer leaning into the head-rubs I give her. I know that she did not find enough good in life at the end to stay. But there was a time when she was healthy, or just healthy enough to stand the indignities and inconveniences of treatments. I miss her company.
Beyond that, though, I miss her mere presence in the house. I wrote to a friend of an analogy which I find appropriate. It’s been many years since I have watched television, but it still lends itself to this comparison.
Tungsten’s absence in my feline family is like a television series that has lost its principal actor; she probably left to concentrate on movies. The series continues but without its main character, who is not replaced. The others in the series are excellent actors, portraying beloved characters, and no viewer wants the series to end. But there is a large element missing, a centre around which plots revolve, and everyone is waiting for the main character to return, or for a voice-over to announce that “the role of so-and-so will now be played by…” But there is no new actor, and the character is gone.
Each cat of my household, each life in existence, is its own story, its own novel, its own television series. Some are comedies, some are tragedies, some are mixtures. Many are badly written, some have no plot at all, while others are popular, hits or bestsellers. Each of my cats is a character - in several meanings of the word - and I want to enjoy them season after season. But the star of the show is gone.