Mei Kitty, 2014-2021

You had a good run, baby kitty.

Seventeen is seriously geriatric in cat years, and it was only in the past few years that you really started to feel your age. You were a real trooper with your thyroid pills and acid reflux tablets. We couldn’t believe how OK you were with having medicine shoved down your throat… although treats will make almost anything tolerable. Except maybe nail trimming.

In the end, it was probably your enlarged heart that finally got the best of you. Your abdomen had filled with fluid, and you were having difficulty breathing. The vet told us you were critical, and that you could only get worse.

It’s been exactly one month since we said our final goodbyes in that little room at the vet’s office. We didn’t want to let you go. It was the right thing to do, the humane thing to do, but it was so hard.

So, so hard.

You were a part of our family for so long — it’s going to take a while to completely adjust to life without you. For the first couple of weeks, almost every step of our daily routine reminded me of your absence. Every evening after I would wave goodbye to The Daddy One as he left for work, it was so strange not to hear you reminding me that it was Time for Kitty Dinner. Every time anyone would turn on the Keurig to make coffee, part of the daily symphony was missing without you trotting into the kitchen and demanding your Treats.

Even now, a month later, I have to consciously look away from the bathroom door as I turn the knob to come out and start my day — otherwise, my gaze automatically focuses on the floor just beyond the threshold, so I won’t trip over you. I’ll think I see a movement under the rocking chair, and I’ve already focused on it and expected to see you there before my brain can remind me not to bother, that it’s just a reflection in my glasses.

The king-sized bed seems so big and quiet without you there to keep me company at night while The Daddy One is at work. I miss your incessant meowing to be petted and scratched, and I miss your fuzzy warmth curled up behind my knees after you’d given up on the petting.

I even miss having a kitty-cat alarm clock at 6:30 every morning.

This year’s Christmas photo was only our third ever without you; this is the first Christmas card we’ve sent that didn’t include your indignant squirmy presence on the front.

I’m starting to be able to file my favorite memories of you alongside my favorite memories of my cats Sly and Vic, who passed while I was in college. Even so, you lived twice as long as either of them did… and the years I spent with Sly and Vic seem like a lifetime ago.

If grief truly is an expression of love, then we all love you even more than any of us realized.

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