Cookie

Where do I begin?

Ever since I was a little girl, cats weren’t exactly my favorite animals. I didn’t hate them but I didn’t like them either. I loved dogs, gold fish, turtles, but cats – nah. It probably had to do with Pamela’s kitten who scratched me when I was in first grade in Virginia. I was a kid so I didn’t go through the whole mature understanding that hey, cats scratch too if they feel threatened. I thought: All cats are evil four-legged beings who hate me. It was silly, I know.

We came back to Pakistan a while ago. We kept three beautiful dogs – one after the other – and they all lived happy, enriched lives until one got kidnapped and the other two got sick so they had to be put down. I was a kid so the pain of losing a pet was limited to the pain of losing a friend you’d play with every now and then. I cried, sure, but I never felt my heart fall to my stomach with anxiety or fear. I never lost sleep over it. I didn’t grow desperate while walking through narrow corridors of barely attended clinics.

I met Cookie – my Turkish Angora kitten – a few months ago. The very lovely and generous Hanifa Tareen gifted me her from the bunch of adorable kittens Cookie’s mommy, Moto, had. I remember the first time I saw her sitting on the backseat of the car. She was so tiny and afraid. That’s when our bond began; She was like my baby.

The thing with Cookie – and I know every cat owner says that – was that she was exceptionally intelligent and beautiful. My mother, not so fond of felines, fell in instant love with Cookie. My father, a man known for his reserved attitude towards all living beings, morphed into a little boy with Cookie; He couldn’t stop snuggling her, taking care of her needs, making sure I was doing my best job at raising her. My sisters, fond of animals, had the most amusing, fun-filled, warm relationship with Cookie. She became family.

This little tribute is for her.

You were so tiny when I met you! Your little pink paws and your little pink nose. And for someone so delicate and tiny in size, you sure had the nerve of a very naughty monkey. You’d hop on book shelves and push my journals down while meowing happily. You’d run around the house with mama’s chador in your mouth. You’d jump from one couch to the other while papa browsed the newspaper. You couldn’t stop pouncing at us for fun. And my oh my, you really did love taking naps with us in bed. Your little paw on my cheek while I snoozed.

Taking a nap in my sister’s arms in July.

Remember the time when you broke my favorite mirror? Or the time you literally tore pages out of my book and hid your face between the pages. Or the time you ruined the curtains. I couldn’t even bring myself to snub you; You looked so innocent while standing in the door. Remember how silly you looked after a bath, huddled up in a warm towel. You taught me so much. From little things like taking responsibility, making sure everything was okay, teaching you manners, learning to build patience to bigger things like preparing myself for losing you, holding you throughout the night, trying not to cry while you breathed your last.

Sometimes when I’d eat a mango slice, you’d snuggle up against me and meow at me. You really liked mango for some reason. Your furry white mouth would be covered with sweet yellow pulp. You used to hide the mango seeds under the bed!

The street below was a sight for you to behold whenever you’d get the chance. Papa would pick you up; hold you in his arms and walk outside, letting you take in the sights and sounds of the city around you. Today when papa was buried you, he was crying. He said he felt a fatherly kind of joy while holding you, showing you the world around you. Remember how adorably clumsy he was with you initially? He didn’t know how to hold you or pet you even but he wanted to show his love so he tried. And you graciously allowed him to. I still remember how you would hop on his knees while he watched TV.

Mama says you left too soon. We tried everything. Three vets and dozens of recommendations but when someone’s time arrives, there’s no stopping it. You had chronic renal failure – your kidneys stopped functioning, your system initiated a quick shut down. It was painful to watch. In the last few hours we spent together, I learned so much from you. I learned that a baby can be a fighter, a warrior in tough times. That a small kitten like you had the spirit of a lioness. That no matter how many times your legs gave in making you collapse to the ground, you did everything in your fragile heart to bring yourself back up. I learned that love should never be measured in the number of weeks, months spent with a cherished one but in the moments that never die, that continue to live forever in our hearts. I learned that lying next to you, my forehead against yours, taught me how to say good bye far better than any other time I’ve said good bye to someone. And I’ve lost human friends to death – not once, not twice but thrice – but I learned that saying good bye to anything, anyone – regardless of what and who they are – can put a little hole in your heart. I learned you took pieces of me, of papa, of mama, of us, with you to heaven.

Her favorite spot.

Before you left us, I held you in my arms and took you to your favorite place in the world: The terrace. Under the full, milky white moon, I strolled to and fro while you blinked weakly at the azure sky. I can’t remember how many times I kissed you and cried against your neck while you breathed slowly. I don’t know if you’ll ever know that I held your paw to my lips and talked to you while you trembled as your system started to shut down. I even tried bribing you back to life. You could have anything you wanted. If only you could have stayed with me a bit longer.

I woke the other two sisters up to let them know you’re about to go. We sat around you, rubbed your cold paws, kissed your forehead, and talked to you. We wanted you to know that we were here, we were trying. And I think you understood. When you started breathing your last, my youngest sister rubbed your belly to keep your warm. We took a clean towel, placed you in it gently, kissed you and closed your eyes. You didn’t wake up.

It was Fajr time – dawn. It was a cool, quiet time. I have never cried for anyone like this before but your sudden departure broke us all. Before the sun would rise, papa took you and buried you near a tree. He wept when he came home. He really loved you. Home is hollow without you.

I lied down. I couldn’t sleep. I half-expected you to pounce at me from somewhere, like you played with me. When the sun was out, its rays reflected on the marble floor and I saw your little paw prints. I cried and tried to remember you in the best moments we shared.

I just wanted to say: Thank you for coming in my life. You taught me a lot but most importantly you taught me to love. Mama, papa, the sisters and I will always, deep down inside, look for you around the corner, playing with your toys. We will sometimes look at your bowl and think you’ll be here for your snack. Sometimes I will cry to sleep and imagine you lying right next to me. You will live forever in our memories.

I love you, Cookie. Enjoy kitty heaven.

Your momma,

Mehreen.

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36 thoughts on “Cookie

    1. I hope Cheri, Girl and Skippy never go through what Cookie did. May your love give them years and more years to live happily.

  1. Hi Mehreen,

    I am very sorry for your loss. This post made me well up.

    Can I cross post it please?

    I hope you are feeling better. I wish more people had it in them to care for animals like you and your family do.

    Best,

    Zahra Peer Mohammed Blogs Desk Head The Express Tribune 5 Express Way, off Korangi Road, Karachi, Pakistan Ph: + 92 21-35800051 to 8 http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/

    1. We tried everything we could, Zahra. From checkups with several vets to giving her medicine via droppers, rubbing her back and kneading her little muscles gently. We made sure she knew she wasn’t alone. It’s happened before with my pet dogs and my parrot. From home remedies to prescribed medicine, everything. Some babies gotta go.

      Please feel free to post it. Thank you for messaging.

  2. This is a beautiful tribute, it made me smile as well as making me cry. I’m sorry for your loss, especially that she was taken from you so soon.

  3. I have read every word of your post. We have a cat, our first ever pet. My wife never liked pets inside or even outside the house. My son Bilal always pleaded to his mother to get him a cat, she always replied nothing doing. She has an obsession with cleanliness and hence her aversion; till one day she gave me a call from her friends house that if I wanted to have a kitten. Never wasting a moment i rushed and I was home with a kitten similar to your ‘cookie’ same colour mix of Persian and Siamese i guess. I was not bothered about the lineage, cast or creed:). So I called my grand daughter and asked her to name him. That is how we have now BOOTS on the ground, every where running scratching sofas, and mats and carpets, tearing shredding tissue papers, biting my bathroom slippers, jumping every morning on my study table to be brushed and groomed and to be fed some cat cookies after that daily ritual, and that is time he has the most cutest face, pleading for more. The vet has to go through an exercise of aerobics to clip his nails, clean his ears. He say he hasn’t seen a cat like him. BOOTS has NEVER sat on any ones lap. He has though inflicted considerable damage to my wife’s collection of lamps and crystal pieces. She dare not say anything because Bilal’s life is in BOOTS:-) Your post is so sweetly written, it did bring a tear in my eyes. BOOTS is for us like your ‘Cookie’ it is unimaginable to even think anything going wrong with him. I know exactly the loss of a pet because when I was young my father had to put down JACKY or Russell Terrier. I remembered having cried a lot. I was then 12 years old. Hope one day you will have another one to be part of the family. They create a great energy at home.

    here is BOOTS image URL. Hope it works

    https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=91e8a7ce4c&view=att&th=1398b8f2bd50b072&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P94GG7UwJKs8MA-tylwiaX3&sadet=1349084005723&sads=i7hudaTeem4b8Pt72KSWJEJLpVQ

    best
    Tahir

    1. The link didn’t work but I’m certain Boots is a lovely baby. Losing pets is a tough, tough experience. Please give Boots a cuddle from me. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss, Mehreen. This was such a beautifully written post, I just started weeping. Cookie was very lucky to have you as family and be so loved.

  5. We come from God and to God we shall all return. I was very touched reading about Cookie and what she meant to you and your family. I know personally the kind of pain and grief you are going through and you wrote wonderfully about it. I have not been able to write about it myself in the hardest case… I lost many pets, but the one I lost to feline leukemia at a certain time in my life was the hardest to bear, and I still choke up when I think about him and the end of his life especially. It can be hard for people to understand sometimes if they have not gone through this type of grief. It is one that animal lovers still fight through for the amazing rewards and love we are able to experience in the beings that allow themselves to be our pets.

  6. you made me cry mehreen. i used to have a cat who was named “baby”. she was 10 years old. she’s been missing for the past 3 months and my mom suspects that she died in accident or something, cuz during her last days she was not very active and slightly limped as well. i was kinda over the shock of losing her, but after reading your post, i have started missing her badly! :(
    i hope she is in the cat-heaven with your cookie.

  7. Hey,
    Really sorry to hear about Cookie. She was adorable. I had a dog Jack he was German Shepherd and he died in ’02. From that time, I never get the courage to have another pet. He was really close to me, a best buddy. I miss him. You’re kitty’s best mommy =)

  8. Cried uncontrollably while reading your touching tribute. I have a persian. He is like my son. May Allah give you strength.

  9. Salaams dear Mehreen – This was so beautiful. It’s been wonderful following her little adventures through the photos and words you shared with us. Though I’m not a pet person, I saw how much happiness Cookie brought to your and your family’s life over these recent months and it really broke my heart when first hearing of her illness and seeing her lose the battle with it. Her life was indeed too short, but as you’ve alluded to, she’s taught you a lot and I”m sure this will make you an even stronger person, more compassionate person than you already are. I lost my Abba 11 years ago, so I speak from the experience of losing someone close and the process one goes through in the subsequent years. Sending so much love and one very special forehead kiss.

    Stay strong insha’allah.

    -Anees

  10. It was beautiful, plain like d word itself ! truly, i was and still am no home with pets, but your love for your cooky? i wish we humans could some day love each other, a bit like that……

  11. Just found out about your loss. I’m truly devastated. Honestly, I felt the EXACT same way when i lost Milo……….we had to give her away because my sister wont approve of her. And i still dream about her…………..its unbearable. for me, no cat can replace milo. But i hope and pray that Allah Almighty gives you the strength to bear this pain. its like losing a huge part of yourself, i know. But my prayers are always with you. I and my mom, who’s been deeply saddened by the news, pray that Cookie is enjoying herself in kitty heaven. Loads of prayers for you and your family.
    Regards,
    Attiya

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t stop crying, you’re so strong. I know that losing a pet can be heart breaking, no matter how long they’ve been in your life. What a beautiful, sweet little soul you got to experience. I hope you feel better soon, and this was a beautiful tribute to Cookie. <3

  13. Dearest Mehreen,

    I am SAD!

    But i just realized that it was one wonderful experience you went through. She taught you how to love. Which shows how much God loves you that He made you learn it. She was God’s message to you. As soon as He realized that the message is delivered, Cookie went back to where she was sent from. Whenever you miss her, smile n say a prayer that you have been chosen by Him, you are that special one, you are much nearer to Him than many others in this whole wide world! Pay Him the gratitude by saying “Happy, Thank you, More Please!”

    God Bless You :)

    -Much Love

  14. Mehreen,

    I’m sending you love and hugs from New York. I had to walk out of the office and rush to the bathroom so someone wouldn’t walk in and catch me in tears, halfway about to start sobbing. May Cookie live on forever in our hearts.

  15. cant keep on reading…but i let it flow to gravity. I wonder what if bebo…. may she live happily…. i miss her, left her in Karachi but every time i try to reach to her voice when i call back home…. cute little love n admires we human have with our adorable. May u have the strength.

  16. Sorry for your loss, sweetheart. As a new “mom” to a puppy, it breaks my heart to think about what you had to deal with. It is true that pets teach us so much more than we ever think they will. Glad you learned so much from Cookie. Sorry it had to be that way.

  17. You kitten was so sweet, I had come to know about Cookie just a few weeks ago through your FB updates. And lucky Cookie who had found such a loving family around. I am so sorry for you loss Mehreen.

  18. Mehreen, yesterday morning I happen to come across your subscribed blog mail. I liked the blog to such extent that I want a kitten myself. Such a heartfelt read. Got me weepy while seated near my office desk. I felt sharing it with my feline :p

    Cookie would be bragging about her loving momma in her kitten heaven ^__^

  19. Dear Miss Mehreen:

    Thank you so much for this. I believe that life never ends, it only changes form. But it’s so hard when a beloved form disappears from view.

    Issa:

    The world of dew is

    A world of dew, yet even

    So, yet even so…

    Let it be a consolation that you and your family gave Cookie a beautiful life, every day of her life.

    YZ

  20. We lost our Rustum too.There are so many fond funny memories and proud moments, like his incessant need to run the other cats off the street.
    Every cat is the king of its house. May your kitten, Cookie, come back as a lion in its next life.

  21. Hello miss Kassana
    I used to read your blog ages ago. I was looking for some of your older articles. there was one about a man who lived under a tractor. and another about a boy who passed away after being forced to do a drill. Can’t find them on your blog though. Did you delete them if so why? That was good stuff.
    Also sorry about your cat. I felt the same way when my dog fluffy died (my grandma named him)

  22. Hello Mir kassana
    L used to read your blog ages ago. l was looking for some of your older articles. there was one about a man who lived under a tractor and another about a boy who passed away after being forced to do a drill. Can’t find them though. Did u delays them? If so why that was good stuff.
    Sorry about your cat. I felt the same after my dog fluffy passed away (my grandma named him)

  23. Wow. Reading this really made the waterworks flow. Never thought Id cry my
    eyes out over reading something, being a boy. I sincerely hope Cookie’s in a better place now. And hope God gives you and your family the strength to cope with her loss. Even though she was an animal, to you guys it must have been just like family. I know this because I have 2 cats myself and absolutely love them to bits. Rest in peace Cookie. :'(

  24. Good day! I just want to give a huge thumbs up for the good info youve gotten right here on this post.
    I will likely be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

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