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My little munchkin Bagru is no more! But definitely at a better place! Say Amen!

Last night Bagru passed away and it turned out a little more devastating for me than I imagined or probably I never imagined it at all. He was a beautiful ginger striped kitten who I raised myself. He was too young *6 months old* and had a really exciting life ahead where he could have been extremely notorious and ‘khilandra” as he had been so far! So, watching his life slip through his body and witnessing him turning ice cold in front of my eyes is probably one of the hardest things I have been through so far!

Just as the knot of grief caused me to slow down, it also made me reflect on this experience no matter how ordinary it might look to others. Humans and fur babies have a really precious, unique bond which I believe requires people to have some special sort of super soul to understand and relate with. While I am still trying to accept the fact that Bagru won’t be there to purr around me, curl up into a ball right where I sleep claiming his spot, try to cling to me whenever I pet him, or just tuck his head in my neck when he felt sleepy;  there are a few things I have learnt from this experience and I am sure all those who have lost their furry friends can also relate with it!

Never be Ashamed about How You Feel about the Loss of Your Pet!

Allow no one to say “it was just a pet”! Regardless of the circumstances of your loss, remember the grief is personal to you, so you have all the right to grieve however you want without feeling ashamed. Either cry rivers, or have personal space, no matter your coping strategy, but never for an instance believe that it is not really appropriate to feel for an animal friend despite your age! A 10 year old kid and a 30 year old individual like me may behave the same way when it comes to coping with the loss of their animal companion. Remember showing emotions is a sign of strength and not otherwise!

Be Really Really Really Conscious about their Health!

Always take your pets to the vet for general checkup every 3 months. Be close to a good vet and don’t take even the trivial symptoms like lethargy for granted. Knowing what is abnormal for your pet is incredibly important.

A little delay on my part cost Bagru his life because I was occupied with work and gave myself excuses like “He looks fine”, “I should probably take him to the vet next week”. That next week only came when he was really sick!

As much as I regret it, I have no way but to have you all learn from my mistake. You can never be too busy for family and if you think so, you are just fooling yourself and missing out on real life!

A Stark Reminder: You have Little to Completely no Say in What Happens Next!

That was a straightforward reminder that I can’t really help whatever happens next. The other day I was planning how I am going to celebrate mine and Bagru’s birthday together *he shared my birth date” but well, who are we to plan things right? That was a lesson and a nudge that despite the perfectly laid out plans ahead, we have little control over what’s going to happen next! Sounds unfair but it calls us up to be ready for all the ebbs and flows!

It’s Never too Early or too Late to Adopt Another Animal Companion

Every person has a way of coping with such loss. Some might want to adopt another pet as soon as possible, and others might spend a little more time to mourn before bringing a new friend home. I am not restricting myself to any absolutes and would like to adopt a pet as early as I can because this is the only thing which pacify my hollowed out insides both because I lost a best friend and also because he helped me through a few difficult moments with his presence. So its different for everyone, and if you are choosing the second option, don’t feel guilty about replacing your lost friend so soon! because some of us like to have an animal spirit around as it’s an important aspect that defines the quality of life for us.

Remember What They Made You Realise When They Passed

Time is fleeing! This is the one thing I felt really strongly right as he passed away. Meet that friend you have been planning to but delay every time for one reason or another, spend more time with your parents, and hold your pets a little tighter and a little longer! Humans don’t have the privilege of keep delaying things, do they?

Understanding comes from loss. I realised I had to make sure what i experienced was not in vain so I wanted to share what I learned incase it helps others. If you have also lost your pet, sending loads of love your way!

I am sure Bagru must be grooming himself up there right after a fat, hot chicken stew meal and then will head to a long lazy nap! So long fellow!

Hina Ilyas
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