'Don't judge me for holding my cat's memorial every year'


For Ruth Mwangi, posting about the death of her cat Noel on a pet’s online group was comforting.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Ruth's friends and family do not understand why she is devastated.
  • Every day Noel would wait for her by the door when she got home.

When Ruth Mwangi adopted her cat Noel four years ago, she dreamt of a long life together.

She knew the cat would not outlive her but never in her wildest dreams did she imagine her fur friend would die so soon and so suddenly.

The death has now thrown her in a state of grief and sadness and she is allowing herself to mourn and feel the loss of her cat.

“Noel was more than a cat to me, she was the first pet I ever owned and we grew very close over time. She was a companion to my son and I, we got so close in the four years we were together, her death really shook us, “Ms Mwangi tells Pawrenting.

“She died in our arms and we were happy that she was not alone in her final moment, but after that, we really cried with my son, I was the one comforting him, he was distraught.”

Her friends and family do not understand why she is devastated. According to Ruth, they think it is just an animal and to get over the loss, want her to get another cat as soon as possible to replace Noel.

Unique personality

“Each cat is unique and has their personality, no cat can take Noel’s place, so even if I get a cat, it will not be Noel’s replacement, “explains Ms Mwangi adding that she will take her time before getting another cat.

Posting about her loss on a pet’s online group was comforting. Most members, who are cat owners, offered her words of comfort so much she felt validated.

“I knew the pet’s group would understand how sad I felt, friends and family not so much, but members of this group encouraged me, I felt validated in my feelings, “she said Ruth explains how every day Noel would wait for her by the door when she got home.

Then she would join Ms Mwangi and the son on the couch for cuddles and head scratches.

Her favourite food was omena and beef. Noel was adopted from Nairobi Feline Sanctuary. She had grey and white striped fur and startling gold eyes.

According to Ms Mwangi, Nairobi Feline Sanctuary had a lot of beautiful cats that Ms Mwangi and her son liked, but Noel was the one who suited their personality and lifestyle.

She was a cuddly, calm and pleasant cat, just what Ms Mwangi was looking for.

Now that she is gone, Ms Mwangi is only left with good memories of her fur friend, and hopes to be celebrating the death anniversary every year.