Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Another day, another sad revelation
I woke up in bed this morning to find my beloved cat, Merlin, with his head snuggled into my armpit and his body pressed against my chest. He looked up at me with sad eyes as I lifted my head and I could see the love deep inside those beautiful green orbs. As I stroked his head and back I realised that my relationship with Merlin is probably the most loving one I have ever had and ever will have.
Merlin’s unconditional love has been a boon in my life; he knows when I am sad and he always comes to me in my hour of need, even though we have times when our relationship is strained. I once described Merlin as my ‘feline avatar’ in a poem and that is as true a description as I could ever come up with, although ‘son’ would also be an appropriate epithet.
I don’t know how long he had been sleeping with me but he stayed in that position for fifteen minutes until the muscle weakness I have been feeling in my right arm meant I had to stop my gentle stroking. I kissed him gently on the head and he looked at me again before silently saying “don’t take this the wrong way but I really have to change position – I won’t go far”. He then moved to lay by my leg maintaining close contact with me.
Merlin reciprocates the love I give him and it is a sad testament to my useless life that I have only felt love like that from one other person, my Grandma. Both she and Merlin have seen past the emotionally violent mood swings from which I suffer and the sometimes horrible person they turn me into. They accepted me for who I am, warts and all, and seem to realise that my depression has a hold on me that I seem unable to break. They forgive me my failings as a human being and realise that it is my illness that makes me difficult to live with, all the more amazing for my Grandma because I was not diagnosed with depression until about seven years after her death.
I’d like to think that I have been a good father to Merlin and he, in return, has been a good son to me. I have nursed him through bad health and he returns the favour by always being there for me in times of emotional distress but it is a sobering thought to think that my relationship with Merlin is probably the most successful I will ever have.
In a month and a day, my benefit payments will cease and the energy drain I have been suffering with of late will be worsened by the slow ravages of malnutrition and starvation unless I get a miracle. My income, meagre as it is, pays for my own food and tops up the deficiencies in my estranged wife’s income that pays the household bills as we have been forced to live together as we haven’t had the help of our local Housing Department to re-house us separately so we can go our separate ways and my wife can get the divorce she so desperately desires.
The only point of light is the loving relationship I have with Merlin and it offers me solace in what will probably be my last few weeks. I hope he truly realises how much I love him and how much his friendship and love mean to me.
It’s a sad revelation to wake up to but that’s how sad and empty my life has become since all my other avenues of diversion have been taken away from me. Perhaps the Government is doing me a favour by ending my benefit payments because such an empty existence isn’t worth living.