What is a legacy? Dictonary.com defines it as:
“Anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor…the legacy of ancient Rome.”
My cat Lucy is very ill, after 14 years of life it seems her path is winding to an end. I want to go back in time and play with her longer, allow her to sleep in my bed and wake me up at the worst time by pushing her wet black nose against my big fat nose. As a kitten I had to hold her tightly against me while she tried to bite and scratch me. She had a fear for people and I could see she needed to know that she could trust me before she would accept me. After weeks of restraining her and taking her nails and teeth in my flesh she got a taste for me so to speak.
She was my little Burmese kitty, ready to play and jump and sleep on my homework. She and my little sisters cat Meouth ( a fat ginger tabby) became great friends, they became brother and sister. Meouth passed away a few weeks ago, and Lucy almost mourned herself to death. After 14 years with Meouth she seemed to miss him beyond anything. She would smell his left over furr and she would meow a special meow that we all recognised was her calling Meouth. A legacy is leaving a lasting message. A lasting story. Making an impact.
Lucy is just a cat, but she is a symbol of my childhood, our family starting a new life in Cape Town. She and Meouth came into our lives and enriched every moment. When I held Lucy for the first time in 1999 I knew I loved her. As a kid I never thought of the end of her life. 14 years later I realize it is my duty to her to hold her one last time, I need to be with her when she dies. Hold her, be with her, make her feel safe in those last moments.I want to calm her like she has me. I want her to trust that I love her, and that her life meant so much to me.
Her legacy is my legacy. Lucy kept me warm, made me feel safe. She gave me company when I was a lonely 15 year old boy from a small town back in a big city. She calmed me when I was sad, purring me to sleep. A legacy is more than just property or fame. A legacy creates a lasting change in the world. You create a legacy by your behaviour. How you choose to love, act and react. Did you face your fears or did you allow them to consume you? Did you go for your dreams or did you hope they would fade away? Were you there when you were needed, did you lend a helping hand? Lucy thought me a lot about responsibility and love. She showed me that you should only trust people that are willing to bleed for you, people that will be there for you no matter how crazy things get. Or how difficult.
The ancient Egyptians had a cat god called Bast (Bastet) who represented protection, fertility and motherhood. The Egyptians hoped they would keep the cats soul alive, so that it could return to its owner to serve them in the afterlife. Here is another extract from WikiPedia:
Lucy you are just a cat, and I am just a man. I will be there for you till the end, be it tomorrow, be it today. You added to my legacy, a part of who I am was created by you being in my life. I wish you could find Meouth again, he is somewhere eating…
PS: If you have lost a beloved pet please leave your story in the comments below.