‘She was hit by a tractor. She didn’t feel anything.’ I started crying hysterically. She was my soulmate, how was I supposed to move on?’: Woman with autism finds ‘special and strong bonds’ in cats

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“I have autism, so I can be socially awkward around (new) people, especially adults. I always found myself more comfortable around animals. I’ve loved animals as long as I can remember, but I love cats the most. I have had cats since I was four, but when I was 15, I got to have my very own kitten, which meant I was responsible for taking care of her. Of course my dad paid for the food and the vet. Her name was Lily Rose (orange tabby and white), and she became my everything from the day I got her. She was one of my best friends. I do think she was my soulmate; wherever I was, she was there. She did like other people, but I was her number one, I was her first choice to cuddle with.

Courtesy of Esther

Because of my autism I had some trouble at high school. I was a bit of an outcast and extremely shy. I did have some friends, but if they weren’t there, I was alone. At 15/16 I was also struggling with my sexuality. I found out I was gay and in love with a friend who didn’t like me the same way. I didn’t like talking about my feelings with my parents and most the time hide it from them. But I would tell everything I struggled with to Lily Rose, and it may sound weird, but I think she understood when I was feeling down. She would jump on my lap and just start purring and giving me head bumps as if she was telling everything was going to be okay. In November of 2016 I started at a special needs high school and I finally felt like I belonged somewhere and had the best classmates. I think Lily Rose was proud and happy for me. I finally loved going to school. Every day I got home from school she would jump on my lap and I would excitedly tell about my fun day. She would purr and look at me as if she was smiling with her eyes.

Courtesy of Esther

On August 16th, 2017, I went on a three-day vacation with my mom and two of her friends. Because my dad and stepmom were also on a vacation, we had a friend of my parents take care of Lily Rose and Bobby (our other cat). That same day my mom got a call from that friend to tell her something about the cats. After she hung up, I asked what was wrong and my mom said she had a question about the food and told me not to worry. Two days later, my mom said she wanted to go on a walk with me. While we were walking, she suddenly stopped and said she wanted to tell me something. Two days ago, when that friend had called, it wasn’t about the food, she called because she had found Lily Rose dead on our driveway…Turned out she was hit by a tractor in the early morning of that day (my dad’s house is in front of a farm) and the farmer didn’t notice. His daughter had found her body an hour later and put her in our driveway because she knew she was my cat.

Courtesy of Esther

I started screaming NOOO and crying hysterically. It was my worst nightmare coming true. How could I go on without her? I needed her…’Luckily’ it looked she died right away and didn’t feel anything. I never blamed the farmer; it was an accident. The days and weeks after were horrible, I still did some fun things, but I just missed her so much. The one I needed the most right now was gone, how was I supposed to move on? I had lost cats before, but it never hurt so bad. I had a special and strong bond with her. Three weeks after her death I got two new black kittens and they were the sweetest little boys, but even though I loved them very much, I didn’t really bond with them, maybe it was too early. They did bond with my stepmom and still do to this day. I still love them.

On June 1st, 2018, my heart was finally ready for a new kitty. I bought a Maine Coon/Exotic Shorthair who I named Finley James (gray and white), and was head over heels with him. I got my own apartment that summer and didn’t want to live alone, so I found it was time to open up my heart again. Two months later, on August 19th, I got another kitten, Luna Rose (tortie). She was named after Lily Rose because she had the same expression as her, and I later noticed she had the same kind of character. It’s been over three years since I lost Lily Rose and I only had her for two years, but there never a day goes by that I don’t miss her. Most of the time it’s not hard, but some days I just cry and ask her to come back. But when I have a hard time, Finley James and Luna Rose will help me through it like Lily Rose did.

Courtesy of Esther

The loss of Lily Rose did change me a little in that I became too overprotective towards Finley and Luna, because I’m just scared to lose them, too. I’m still learning how to deal with it, but as long as it doesn’t affect them in a negative way, it’s not too big of a problem. I also don’t let Finley and Luna walk around ‘free’ outside. They wear harnesses and I go on little walks with them, or I put them on a 10 meter long leash hooked on a wall in the garden. On my watch, of course. Before people are going to hate, they don’t know any different and they’re happy kitties.

I know Lily Rose is watching over us and is still there with every new step I make in my life. She’s my guardian angel.”

Courtesy of Esther

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Esther of the Netherlands. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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