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I never thought I would find anyone who meant as much to me as Charlie did. He was always there for me, knowing when to comfort me when I was down, when to entertain me with some silly trick and when to rush to investigate those strange noises that sometimes startle you awake in the middle of the night. He loved me unconditionally, and I would have done anything for him in return.
But no cat lives forever, and when the vet diagnosed an inoperable tumour on his spine, I had no choice but to say goodbye to my companion of the last eleven years. Though his end was quick and painless, I was in floods of tears as I walked home from the vet's surgery, Charlie's body wrapped in one of my favourite T-shirts so I could bury him in my back garden, beneath the cherry tree.
Finn did his best to console me. He had been my on-off lover for long enough to know just how much Charlie meant to me, and when I arrived at the flat, clutching the handle of the cat carrier so tightly my knuckles were white, he was there to fold me in a big hug and let me know everything was going to be all right.
His muscular arms held me close and I let my head rest against his chest, reassured by his solid masculinity. Let’s lay Charlie to rest, then I’ll run you a bath,” he suggested. “I’ll use plenty of that ginger bubble bath you like.”