a little over a year ago my boy and i lost one of our best friends [read more about that here]. his name [one of many] was bigdog.
he was a cat.
the most superlative, beast of a creature you've ever seen. he had the build of a black bear and the heart of an angel. he was our boy and we loved him dearly. his death was sudden and tragic - his departure was unexpected and terribly painful to us.
bigdog had been with me for a long time before he became part of our family. i'd been best friends with him since the tender age of 14. half my life. so when i lost him i really felt like i'd lost a part of myself. i was totally bereaved and i felt like i'd had a part of my heart had been cut from me and tossed in the ground. or the chest freezer - but that's another part of the story. one we wont go into here...
it took me a long time to heal from this loss and to begin to feel whole again. and back in june i decided to convert some of that emotional pain into physical pain. by getting a tattoo that nodded towards my unending love towards this animal. the permanence of which a symbol for my love and pain at his passing.
no. i didn't do a Miami or LA Ink and get a cat tattoo!
this tattoo was planned. i had been planning on getting a new tattoo to cover an old, tired tattoo for many, many years. but i'd struggled for an age to settle on the subject matter and style. i just wasn't inspired enough by anything to actually go for it. until bigdog went away. then i had a reason to do this. by turning my emotional pain into a transient, physical pain i [unintentionally] helped myself heal. the pain literally bled out of me and as soon as the appointment was over i started to move on.
the tattoo you see in the image above is my new tattoo. each element of the tattoo has a different significance but it all comes together as my ode to my husband, our marriage and our love for, and memories of, our favourite furry boy.
the tattoo isn't actually finished. i wimped out after 3 hours of outline and shading... i left the appointment feeling positive about coming back in a little over two months to have the tattoo finished. BUT, someone else had plans and a matter of weeks before i was due to go back to the tattooist and have it completed, i found out i was going to have a baby!!!
now, hopefully common sense tells you that it's not the best idea to have a tattoo whilst pregnant. this meant postponing the completion of the tattoo for at least 9 months. at that time i had no clue what effect pregnancy would have on my physically, or even if the tattoo would survive the barrage of stretching and pulling on my skin. or if i'd even ever be able to have it finished!
thankfully i can say that there hasn't been any changes in that department so when i do go back for it filling in it should still be in pretty good nick..
the only difference being that i'll have a baby. with me. out of my body and here in this world. our little child, the one that is about to become a person separate to myself. and you know what, if you've seen my pinterest pages, you'll have got the sense that one tattoo isn't going to be enough for me - it's clear to me that there will be a scrobble addition in ink to my person. eventually.
if anyone is interested, my tattoo was done by the talented dave @ black crown tattoo in leeds. if you're tempted by some ink. get in touch with him - he's a pretty popular guy though so booking in advance will be required. man's got a waiting list and you better get in line cos i'm going back there as soon as i can!!