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.
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.
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.
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.
Catarina Ferreira RIP
Sunrise – 28 June 1983
Sunset – 09 March 2021