When I first met you, you were so shy. I remember you in the shelter, hiding from jerk kitties and watching birds on the porch. The people there described you as "a little depressed from being in the shelter for a long time, but beautiful inside and out". I'd never had a cat before, but I knew that adopting an adult had benefits, like knowing your personality and not having to worry about basic housetraining. It also had the risk/built-in ignorance of never really knowing your age.
I had wanted a cat for as long as I could remember. The counsellor at the shelter thought we would be a perfect match--you wanted a quiet home with a lot of attention, and we were ready to give it. You were sweet and let me give you treats and pet you, often leading me to one of the food dishes. When we decided to take you home, several volunteers came to say goodbye; you were that loved by everyone there.
Even after years of pet-sitting, I had pretty much no idea what I was doing, but I was so happy. Fortunately, you tolerated/forgave my newbie cat handling skills.
You made yourself at home pretty quickly...and we were quick to give you all the blankets and soft places you wanted.
Over just shy of 5 (all too short) years, I fell completely head over heels for you, and all of the things that made you so special and unique.
One of the first quirks we noticed was the fact that you loved being petted while you ate.
The happy purrs you made were ridiculous and adorable. Gradually, you let me brush you when you ate, and then pretty much whenever. You were always a trooper about it...which was good, since you were such a fluffy girl.
You were always so bad at jumping, which at the time I thought was great--we didn't have to train you to keep off of eating or food prep surfaces. In retrospect, it makes me wonder if you were arthritic or hurting. You let us pick you up and hug you endlessly, though. You were so good at hugs.
I probably went overboard with the toys, getting you something nearly every time I went to the store for food or litter for the first few months.
The first Christmas we had you, I gave you the red mouse toy, which you proudly presented to us nearly every night after then without fail. For this and so many other reasons, I often called you my puppy cat. You were so loving and gentle; just a sweet soul.
I love that you always ran to the door to greet us when we came home, and waited by the door when one of us wasn't home.
I love that when we were home, you would always hang out, sometimes barrelling through closed doors just to see us.
I love what a goofball you were, always rolling on your back or side for tummy rubs. I loved your fur--it's still the softest I've ever petted.
I love that you were kind of a fat kid; you had an understandable intense love for the smell of tacos and an inexplicable love for the smell of pop tarts. I'm 99% sure whomever surrendered you gave you a TON of people food. I can't blame them; you were positively adorable. I think if I had met kitten Macy, my heart would have exploded.
I loved your delusions of grandeur and the fact that you so patiently let me take your picture for silly photoshops and paintings. You really were my (ridiculous) muse.
I love that you were always there for me. I have so many memories of nights on the couch with you by my side. Whenever I was sick or sad, you curled up next to me without failure. It was like you knew when I needed you most.
I miss you so much. I hope you can forgive me if I failed you in any way. I'm trying really hard not to torture myself with all of the "what-if's", but the truth is, you were probably sick with something for a while, and being a kitty, you were damn good at hiding it. I hope you weren't in pain. I hope you knew how much you were adored. I hope you know that I love you so much, and that every decision I made for you was made in good faith and love.
But it still hurts. And I still miss you.
Thank you for all of the early morning foot tickles, all of the mouse toys you brought to us in bed, all of the sassy smoker meows, and all of the unconditional love. You were the absolute best and taught me so much about living in the moment and appreciating our loved ones while we have them. I will never, ever forget you.
your loyal service.