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Last Christmas one of our three lovely cats left us and this world. She was not even four years old.
We have had to say good bye to beloved pets before, but we have always been lucky enough to have them a long time, they have all turned old. Now we had to give up a cat that until recently had seemed healthy and who we expected to live another ten, fifteen years.
We did not know Kleintje's life would turn out so short. Life, however, knew all along. One of her kidneys was malformed already from birth. Already from birth it was a given that she would not live as long as a cat with two well working kidneys.
If we would have known, maybe we would have been happy that she turned one, two, three and half years.
So, would we have liked to know?
No. I wouldn't have.
I am happy we had the years we had, without thinking about the end. Without looking for symptoms of the disease, without wondering if she was feeling alright.
As I wrote in Liv och död, the length of life is a mystery. Some lives only last a few minutes, some a few hours. Others last a few years while yet others last for many, many decades.
We often expect that we and our loved ones will live at least as long as the average life span is. Forgetting that an average age inevitably means that a lot of people and animals will have lives that are shorter than that number.
I do not know how long my life will be, or the life of my loved ones. All I know is that we should make the most of the time we have together.
We are so happy to have had our adventurous Kleintje in our lives, the years we had her.
Since nobody really knows what happens after death, I told my children that we can choose to believe whatever makes us feel good.
My youngest son thinks we come to a place where we can push a button and select what we want to become next. Maybe Kleintje decided to become a cat again, or a lion or possibly an elephant.
I choose to believe that her life force is still around, in some shape or form.
Wherever she is, I am sure she is having a great time, making everyone around her happy, just like she used to do here with us.