Missing Zurik

After the dust settles, it’s all quiet now and I miss Zurik terribly.

When he was living outside, he would follow me daily for taiji practice. That was our time together. And of course during meal times too. At other times, if he wasn’t on the roof in his special “den”, he would be on our porch. He loved the shoe rack, especially during the rainy and colder days.

Zurik was not a demanding cat. He never demanded for attention too. He was a quiet cat, quietly doing his duty of protecting me.

Even during the last (almost) 4 months when he had to go for check-ups to the vet’s, he would willingly go into the carrier and would be quiet throughout the car ride, just looking out at the passing scenery. At the vet’s, without fail, every time, the vet would remark, “What a good cat, such a good cat…”.  We would do the fluid aspiration (which some cats would object to), but Zurik never flinched.

He was a very tough cat. And he cooperated fully at the vet’s.

I think he did not want to give anyone any trouble, so he cooperated fully to everything.

Although Zurik was never a fully-indoor cat, when we had to confine him after his FIP diagnosis, he learnt to urinate in the bathroom. He did not use the litter boxes there, but he did it at the drain hole. He was very intelligent.

Previously I had tried Cubgrub with him, but he did not like it. He was a kibble-king and didn’t care much for canned food either. But after he had FIP, I read from the research of a vet who dedicated her practise to helping FIP cats that we should include some raw meat into the daily meals of FIP cats, so I started Zurik on raw chicken fillet. He very quickly learnt to eat it and even appeared to like it too. So he had raw chicken fillet with every meal and once in a while, he also ate Cubgrub. Maybe he knew I was going all out to help him, so he, again, cooperated fully. I’m grateful that the treatment regimen gave us quality time. The vet would be quite impressed with him and say, “Zurik doesn’t know he is sick, he looks happy.” And we rejoiced in that.

That’s our Zurik.

He just wanted me to be happy and he did his very best.

I miss him terribly. Suddenly, he isn’t around for me to look after anymore.

This morning, after getting up, I came downstairs. After feeding everyone, it felt empty. Normally, now would be Zurik’s turn.

I decided to go out to practise taiji. Heidi came long as usual. It also felt empty today even though Zurik hadn’t been following me for almost four months now (he was indoors after the FIP diagnosis and we could not risk letting him out at all). There was a small grey butterfly who fluttered around me. Was the butterfly a messenger, I don’t know.

As a friend described Zurik – “He is an old soul, intelligent and empathetic.” That’s a pretty spot-on description of Zurik. And all-knowing beautiful and quiet soul.

Pet Memorial Services sent back Zurik’s ashes just now (the blue basket). Zurik is now beside Vincent, his old friend. I have the perfect place to inter their ashes – at the vegetable plot in the patio. We will place them together.

Vincent and Zurik were frenemies in the initial two years. Vincent came first to join our colony and being the soldier that he was, Vincent took his duty as a CNRM-cat very seriously, and that was to keep out all other cats. He managed to keep Willy out (I had to feed Willy outside, across the road), but he could not keep Zurik out.

Zurik, being the KGB-trained agent, was very persistent and he kept coming in. This feud between them went on for roughly two years and ended with Vincent calling a truce and the two became friends. Zurik was our last CNRM-cat because nobody could come in anymore after that.

Together, Vincent and Zurik did their duty as CNRM-cats along with the Bird Family (Daffodil, Rosie and Ginger) and Heidi. They kept other cats away. They formed the true-blue CNRM team of our compound.

All these years, I did wonder if Zurik had another home. Sometimes, he would disappear for days and the longest he had ever disappeared was for two weeks. At that time, I thought maybe his “other owner” had taken him home to a kampung. But no. That was the time I was hospitalised for dengue fever and on the very day I came home from the hospital, Zurik came back to see me! And he was back daily again.

Before we built Stargate-2, all our CNRM-cats had the freedom to come and go. They came into our house, stayed in our porch but were also able to roam freely outside. Zurik’s favourite den was on the neighbour’s roof. There was a space there where he would take long naps.

Finally, we had to build Stargate-2 and one by one, our CNRM-cats came in and stayed in the house.

When Vincent had to be confined because of his kidney failure treatment, Zurik was the only one left outside.

Even in his weakened state, I would let Vincent and Zurik spend time together, especially for meals. They used to eat together previously.

Zurik came to see his old friend every day.

They spent time together.

And now, they will be together again, in the vegetable plot in our patio. For always. Their physical bodies back to nature to nourish the earth. Their spirits and the sweet memories, always with us.

3 comments to Missing Zurik

  • Yen Ling

    A lovely reminiscence of Vincent and Zurik. HUGS!

  • Wine Dogs TB EE TT and Lady CC

    My deepest condolences…I just caught up with reading about dear KGB agent Zurik. Like you said, time will heal. Memories ever so often will pop up at all times and over the smallest things, eg their food bowl, their last used rug, packets of unused diapers etc.. but as long as know our babies r in peace now. Hugs!

    • chankahyein

      Yes, you described it so accurately. I’ve kept his box-bed, his box-houses, his blankets, all exactly where they are. Not ready to remove them yet.