Usually, around the holidays, I focus on happy/funny things that help lift peoples spirits. Except in 2013 when I was frustrated with the world. Sometimes I still really am. But this year, I want to write about heartbreak from the loss of my beloved cat Tuna Turner, as well as the importance of rescuing animals.
On December 13, 2007, I went to an old lady’s house in north Toronto to rescue her cat Turner before her family brought him to the Humane Society. Turner was a mature cat, between the ages of 7-10. While he was loving, affectionate and the cutest kitty in the entire world, had he gone to the Humane Society, unfortunately they would have had to put him down sooner than needed. Because, he was old and people mostly want kittens.
When I first brought him home, people said things, like “are you sure you want to do this? You’ll only have him for five years” or “you’re such a good person for taking in an old cat”. What’s that all about?
The truth is, I never really thought about his age. I figured I’d have at least 5 good years with him. And while that’s not 18, 5 years is a great amount of time to fall in love. And, since he’s a cat, and cats can live for a long time, I hoped to have him around 10. Like a good negotiator, he met me in the middle, and gave me 8 years of pure and true love.
I met Turner about a month before I brought him home. He came to me instantly and let me pick him up. The nurse who took care of the lady couldn’t believe how he let me hold him. It truly was love at first sight. After a few years, me and Mr. Opposite nicknamed him Tuna due to a verbal slip up. And because it was hilarious. And because he would beg everytime I made a Tuna sandwich. And because Tuna Turner is the best cat name in the history of cat names.
And, while many say I’m good for rescuing him, what they don’t realize is that he rescued me. I wasn’t in the best place when I got him, but things have come around, and he left at a time when everything in my life is going really great. It’s like he knew. He must have thought, “she doesn’t need me like she used to, I can go to kitty heaven now where I can eat sweets without being rushed to the vet.” In fact, I’m convinced he was my guardian angel kitty. These are just some of the great things that happened to me while Tuna was in my life:
- The day I got him, I received my contract from OneMethod. Working at OM changed my life. My blog was started because of working there (a writer there suggested that I do it). I started painting while working there. I started dancing again while working there. I discovered who I was while working there. I kinda met Drake while working at OneMethod (he walked by me to have a meeting with my boss). I got on IMDB. I learned that I was funny and I discovered my love for writing. I started to sing again. And I met some of the most talented people I’ve ever met. I also met the person who helped me get my next job (Andre -aka BFF) where I met Mr. Opposite.
- I met my friend Dyl who did all the Jen Talks Too Much branding for: lunch, $60 and a bottle of wine! And my branding is spectacular.
- He lived with me when I lived with some of the most interesting women in the entire world. Crystal, Andrea, Crystal, Kasia. All four supported and pushed me to be better.
- He was with me when I met Mr. Opposite and was there as we moved from friends, to flings, to lovers, to roommates, to fiancées and to married.
- Jen Talks Too Much has gained 25K returning readers and over 103,000 unique visitors.
- We lived in Liberty Village, Koreatown, in a penthouse at King and Spadina and now in Cabbagetown underneath two very good friends of ours.
- I worked at kbs+ I became friends with Lyranda from Reasons Mommy Drinks and we were interviewed on the radio. She’s inspiring and so talented. This is also where I became friends with Ravi. Will discuss later.
- I did standup.
- I started two awesome writing projects with two different brilliant women – Karen and Sara. One of which Ravi is editing and animating and making the project even cooler than I thought it could be – this one is with Sara. I’m also learning how to write scripts – this one is with Karen.
- I met Trina Boos, who is now my boss. I am in a position that is new to me and I love it and I think I’m going to be great at it.
- I GOT MARRIED!
- I changed my name (Not legally yet. That will happen over the holidays.)
- I learned how to treat myself with respect, I learned how to care for someone other than myself. I learned how to love and be loved in return.
Now, I’m not saying that it was because of Tuna that all of these wonderful things happened to me (or am I). But, I am saying that the love and companionship that he gave me helped me through some really tough times, while making the great times even greater. Everyday when I’d get home from work or an adventure, I’d pick him up swiftly, and have him purr in my ear and sometimes he’d lick my cheek or ear. He’d walk by my feet and stop to kiss it and then keep walking. He’d come to me every time I called his name like a dog. He was purrfect. More than that, he really was the best decision that I ever made, and as sad as I am right now (and believe me, I’m not sure if I have ever been sadder), I know that bringing him home was the best decision I ever made. And I hope, that he knew how much I loved him, especially in his final hours. I hope that it washed over him and gave him some peace.
I will always miss him. No cat will ever compare. So if you’re on the fence about rescuing, I promise you that you won’t regret it.