Photos by Parveen Ali –
On Facebook, I came across a post by a woman who explained that her dog was tormenting her cat, and regretfully she had to rehome her. Nevertheless, she was determined to find the right home for her cat. In response to my message, she asked me a series of questions about my household, including whether I had ever owned a pet. Prior to making a decision, she spent several days discussing it with me. In spite of all the messages she had received, she determined that my home was the most suitable for her.
I carried Cookie home to London in a pet carrier I purchased online after picking her up from Stevenage. It was a pleasure to bring her home with me, as I was fully prepared. In addition to a bed, I had bought toys for my cat, as well as cat toys and grooming products. I simply wanted everything to be perfect for her.
She longed for a garden, but I was unable to provide it to her. We moved into our new house in 2021, a couple of years later. As part of her new studio apartment, she had access to a small patio that I was able to make cosy for her. One of Cookie’s favorite places to spend time was on the patio.
On a Saturday afternoon in February 2022, I was cleaning my apartment in Pimlico. Since Cookie liked to wander around the neighborhood, I let her out to wander around.
I was cleaning a rug when my mobile phone rang. Upon answering “Hello, is that Miss Ali” I replied “Yes” she said, “I’m calling from the vet. I’m so sorry Cookie was brought into us after being hit by a car, and she has sadly passed away.” At that moment, I dropped my phone and couldn’t speak.
A few minutes later, I called the vets to request permission to see her. They agreed. Once I had prayed my salah, I went to see her. She lay dead at the vet, and I was deeply saddened by the sight. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I could not stop crying. Several thoughts ran through my head. My decision was to take her home so that I could pray on her. I felt that it was the right thing to do to take care of her.
After bringing her home and praying for her. It was my responsibility to plan her burial. This country’s law states that you can only bury your pet in your own garden, not in someone else’s. Sadly, I did not have a garden. I called the vet and explained the situation to them. I was advised that Cookie should be returned to them and that they would cremate her. Despite my desire to bury Cookie, it was not possible for me to do so.
The grief associated with losing Cookie felt never-ending. Several months after her passing, I donated her toys, carriers, and beds to a local charity sending donations to Ukraine. There were a few of her toys and one of her favorite blankets that I kept.
It has been six months since I last saw her, and I still miss her very much. I sometimes forget she has gone and call her name without realising it. Pets become an integral part of a family. When you lose them, it is like losing a family member. In the aftermath of the death of a pet, grieving can last for years, and there is no shame in admitting that.
This article is to honor Cookie, rest in peace chonky (2014-2022)