Some Advice I Once Got from My Dad...
(I am in the library. Why, in the name of all things holy and sacred, are library computers always so painfully slow?)
When I was about 12, I had a cat named Comet (this was 1986 and Haley's Comet was the Big Thing of the year). I got Comet out of the SPCA as a kitten. I saved up my pocket money and it wasn't much, but I donated all of it in order to have her.
She was a great little kitty. Black and white markings, crazy with such a lovely character and enthusiastic spirit. I only had her six months before she was knocked down by a car.
I was so devastated that she was dead. I remember crying bucket loads. It was winter time and I was sat in my pyjamas in front of the heater in my parents' room sobbing - and this was days after her death still. My dad came into the room (my mother may have sent him, though I am not sure) and asked me what was wrong.
"Daddy, I miss Comet. I loved her so much and now she is gone and I will never be happy ever again," I said between sobs and gasps for breath.
My Dad hugged me and gave me this advice: "You will be happy again, my hartjie. You'll see, in time you will be happy again. It will just take some time."
And time really is a healer, as cliched as that sounds. Time, and space. My Dad was right. In the Spring of that year, my cousin Lindsay's cat had kittens and amongst them was the pitch black little pixie I came to know and love as Nermal.