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The loneliness of writing becomes a little lonelier

October 3, 2010

It’s only been just over a month since I wrote about Dooya, my little writer’s familiar who kept me company during the long hours at home alone. I finished by saying that she helped to keep the edge off the loneliness of writing.

©2010 Julia Anderson

That loneliness became a little bit lonelier on Friday. Dooya had been unwell for a couple of months now. She began to ovulate in late July, which led to a hunger strike. After a month of refusing to eat, she developed a kidney problem. For the past few weeks we had been feeding her by tube, and giving her medicine to treat her kidney problems. On Tuesday of this week she was diagnosed with a respiratory infection, requiring injections of antibiotics. On Thursday morning we awoke to find that she had regurgitated the previous evening’s feed, and there was blood in it.

I rushed her to the vet that morning, and he advised that we leave her overnight so that they could give her some fluids, and observe her. On Thursday afternoon she was stable, and the vet was discussing with me future treatment.

On Friday morning the vet called to let me know that Dooya had died suddenly overnight.

I haven’t cried as much, or as hard, in quite some time. We’d only had Dooya for a few months, but it seems like she’d been with us forever. She just belonged.

The house is now too quiet, which is strange, as Dooya didn’t make much noise, beyond a soft little clicking noise that you could only hear if you held her up close to you. But on Friday evening, the silence was oppressive. It was a loud, buzzing void that forced itself into my ears, emphasising the emptiness.

I know that the next time I sit down at my desk to write, when I’m the only person in the house, that overwhelming lonely silence will be bearing down on me. Because my little familiar, my one-eyed smiley lizard, won’t be there to chase away the emptiness.

But as much as I know that I’ll miss her, I know that I wouldn’t trade a moment of the pain, and I wouldn’t have had any other gecko. Because Dooya was special, she was one of a kind. She inspired stories, and laughter, and above all love.

And I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Even when she was being naughty, Dooya had a way of being endearing. Even after managing to spray the vet, the vet student, the examination table and herself with food, everyone still thought she was wonderful.
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5 Comments
  1. October 3, 2010 5:37 am

    I can think of nothing uplifting to say. Wit or a mistimed quip will fall like lead balloons.

    Only someone who has owned and lost a pet can understand the level of love you can afford to something so small and to others – insignificant. ‘Pet’ seems a nasty, ineffectual word which cannot cover the companionship you can gain from another ‘being’ in your space.

    and I don’t care how long or how big the ‘pet’ is.. that love can fill an entire room and when taken, can suck you dry.

    Thinking of you Paul.

  2. October 3, 2010 5:51 am

    Annie is right; “pet” is such an inadequate word. Amd we don’t own them any more than they own us.
    Dooya crept into one of my stories also, with her little smiley face; just as she crept into your hearts, and then left without asking permission.
    My thoughts with Dooya, you and Julia, Paul
    Ian

  3. October 3, 2010 11:14 am

    I am so sorry. Annie is spot-on. We refer to our non-human additions as our children. We lose a bit of our souls when we lose one. But the next “child” blesses us with a bit of their souls.

    My thoughts are with you, as well.

  4. October 4, 2010 2:13 am

    Aw Paul, I’m so sorry to hear that. Words are meaningless at a time like this, but we’re all thinking of you. *hugs*

  5. October 4, 2010 5:29 am

    My heart goes out to you at your loss. ((hugs))
    Take care of yourself.
    Eileen

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