Boxes and Bags – Musings on the Life of a Dear Friend

Boxes and Bags – Musings on the Life of a Dear Friend

Trigger warning!!! 

It is with a heavy heart, that I write this blog post.

The morning of Tuesday 9 March 2021 I found my lodger, Cat dead in her bed and I am still in shock! I never could have imagined how the path of my life would have altered by this one event. I have seen dead bodies at funerals but it’s always been planned and expected.  I checked her pulse, then called the emergency services. I was asked to try and turn her over, we could still help her while waiting for the ambulance. That precise moment brought me the biggest trauma, whereby I did not return to the upstairs of my house for over 12 hours. 

Cat moved in with me on 1st December 2010, just over two years after I purchased my property. As we got to know each other our relationship evolved and she became more than lodger and more as a friend/ family member. I often referred to her as my cousin and the boys called her their sister. 

Cat enjoying afternoon tea in Mayfair

Prior to me having children we spent many nights drinking homemade mojitos (that she would make) and binge-watching White Collar on tv. Cat thought Neal Caffery was cute and we both enjoyed the hustles they pulled to catch their criminal. Cat was an extremely accomplished woman and I admired her desire to explore England and abroad. When travelling home to Portugal in the holidays she would always detour via another European city. She loved travelling on her own as she could plan her own itinerary and not be answerable to anyone else.  

She was warm and friendly to anyone who met her including my friends and family who all got to know her over the years. Sometimes she came on day trips with us. Most notably my first girly trip to Ascot – we had an amazing time and rolled home about 1am, only just making the last train home after going to an afterparty in a bar. She also managed to win the most money out of all of us. 

Cat at Ascot

During my running period, Cat was my biggest cheerleader, always coming to support me when running 5 or 10k. When I did a Cancer Research run on Blackheath in 30 degrees heat and no shade, she was at the finish line waving a large plaque for me. She even got the DJ to give me a shout out. 

During this last year, having Cat in the house was my lifeline. Another adult in the house during lock-down. She often would come down from her room to distract the boys and provide me with some respite. Cat enjoyed her own company but would always make the effort to socialise when I had guests. She had an amazing relationship with my mother, who would often visit for 2 month periods. They would sit in the kitchen drinking coffee made by Cat and discuss current affairs or history. 

More recently, every two weeks Cat sacrificed her Sunday morning lie-in to babysit my boys so that I could attend my personal training session when they were not at their Dads. If you knew Cat, she was a night owl and not a morning person. Her caring nature meant that if she could support you in  any way, she would and for that I am truly grateful. 

Cat and the boys

My relationship with Cat demonstrates that family is not always blood, as she was my chosen family. She truly supported me and always sought to compliment me on my mothering ability when I would be doubting myself. She will be truly missed as we loved and cared for her deeply. As I write this, I cannot help but shed a tear as I remember her warm character and nature. If I have learnt anything from the loss of Cat, it is to treat others with kindness, live life on your own terms and don’t stand around waiting.  

At the moment all of Cat’s belongings are in boxes and bags in her room, which shows how unimportant material possessions are, especially after you die. She didn’t ever make it to my age, but she positively impacted so many people. I take comfort in her legacy as it is so upbeat. 

Cat’s last photo – Celebrating Ri’s birthday

Catarina Ferreira  RIP

Sunrise  – 28 June 1983 

Sunset –  09  March 2021 

28 thoughts on “Boxes and Bags – Musings on the Life of a Dear Friend

  1. Beautiful words for such a strong character, she will be missed and hope her legacy lives in us all! Be kind and live life on your own terms🙏🏾

    1. im so sorry you lost your best friend take it from someone that loves cats I have 12 cats and I just love each and every one of them. That was a beautiful sorry about loss and when your feeling uptoit go to shelter and get a kitten for the boys. You will be saving a precious life. God Bless and by the way you have an amazing Momma. Shaheda

  2. Such heartfelt and touching words. Cat was such a kind and wonderful person.. RIP Cat 💔

  3. So sorry for your loss Juli. What a traumatic experience for you. Cat truly was family to you. Praying that you find the strength to deal with this ❤️🙏🏽

  4. Juli my heart goes out to you and your family. I have not know you long but can say that you are a true, trusting spirit and can see why you and Cat connected and became friends. My spiritual prayers go to you and the boys and I trust in time you can heal. One Love 🙏🏾💜

    1. Thank for taking the time to write such a beautiful comment. As you said time is a beautiful healer x

  5. Sorry to hear this Julie. My sincere condolences to you and to her family. Such a beautiful soul gone too soon. May she rest in perfect peace. 🙏🏾🕯..

  6. So sorry to hear about your dear friend 😢, my condolences to you and her family and friends x🙏🏽

  7. Juli, I don’t know you, and didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Cat, but I wanted to pass on my condolences to you, and thank you for writing such a beautiful piece about loss and life. I am so pleased you have such happy memories that you can take out and relive, she will never be truly gone from your life. Hugs for you and the boys.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and for beautiful comment. Your hugs are warmly accepted and appreciated x

  8. Julie, I am so sorry to hear of this very sad news. Such a traumatic time for you and your sons. May Cat rest in eternal peace.

  9. Dear Julie, I am so sorry to hear such sad news. Such a traumatic time for you and your sons. May the soul of Cat rest in eternal peace and may the wonderful memories you both shared live with you to keep her light shining bright within you. Please accept my sincere condolences.

  10. Very sad news: but this is a lovely tribute to Cat. Such close relationships help define who we are, and stay with us even when the other has gone. Stay safe.

  11. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful friend and relationship. We should all have a Cat and a Juli in our lives.

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