I was in the middle of writing a post about how much I love Gandalf and what a positive impact he has had on my mental health when the worst possible thing happened. Gandalf was sadly ran over on Monday and killed. I though about scrapping the post in and pretending it hadn't happened, but decided to carry on. The reasons I love Gandalf haven't disappeared, just because he has. There were so many things that I loved about Gandalf, but my main few are these.
The way he would run down the stairs, synchronising his meows with his little foot steps and instantly plonking onto the floor, demanding belly rubs and cuddles when walking through the door after work.
The way he would wake us up in the morning by gently nibbling on our nose, chin or ear and meowing until he gets cuddles.
The way he would follow us around the house and wrap his tail around our legs.
The way he would always come into the bathroom and sit in between my legs, staring into my soul until I stroke him.
The way we could trick him into sitting on our lap by creating a little blanket cave on our laps. He would always search for little holes to cosy up in!
The way he would knead at my dressing gown and purr like crazy - to the point that I would purposely fold it up and leave it on the floor so he could snuggle up on it!
The way he would shake like a dog when coming in from the rain - and the way he would walk through the living room to the kitchen laminated floor (contradictory getting everything wet on his way through) and wait to be towel dried, but hated me drying his feet!
The way he would pretend he wasn't sniffing our dinner and would look away if one of us looked in his direction.
The way he would sit on the windowsill and watch me do my make up in the morning, slowly blinking in reply to my 'cat voice' (you know what voice I mean!)
The way he would poke his head through the banister and lick and chomp at our fingers.
Our house now feels so empty without our little fluff ball, running around, causing havoc and licking our fingers and toes! He wasn't just a pet, he was a member of our family and we both loved him to the point of it being a little bit unhealthy!
Scientists have said that having a cat can help relieve stress and anxiety. Physical contact with a cat (]mm˚ - curtesy of Gandalf, I can't bring myself to delete it!) can lead to the body producing oxytocin, a hormone that reduces levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Stroking a cat has a positive calming effect. I for one am proof that this is true. If I came home from a bad day at work; having a Gandalf cuddle would be just the thing I need to bring me out of my mood.
I loved Gandalf so much and also owed him a lot... he really was my therapy cat and helped pull me out of a dark place. I'm sure this will not be the last post I write that involves mention of Gandalf and I'm sure that Liam and I will bring another kitty in need of a family into our home - but for now I need to concentrate on not spontaneously sobbing when I catch sight of anything that reminds me of him (my first midnight pee was really quite difficult!). Although Gandalf was only with us for 10 months, they were a fantastic 10 months that I wouldn't give away for anything. He made us incredibly happy and I'm sure he was happy and loved his life with us.