It was a funny thing, how we got you. I’d just lost my kitty I’d gotten when I was 12, I was 29 years old. A friend of mine took me to the shelter and announced that we were going to pick out a new cat. I didn’t know how I was going to possibly be able to choose, but when I walked in the door, you practically threw yourself into my arms. You were scraggly and thin, and you yelled and yelled. You yelled and kneaded the air while I pet you. I knew immediately that you were ours. We named you Panthera because if you’d been a large cat, you would have roared.
Fast forward 11 years. You lived through a move, a marriage, and the birth of two children. You loved the kids, loved them dearly. And although we thought you were the weirdest (and loudest) cat we’ve ever known, we loved you to pieces. I was so hoping to be able to snuggle and love on you after we had to put Kali down. I thought, “At least I still have a kitty.”
I hadn’t seen you at all that day, your food was untouched in your dish. Unusual for you, since you’ve always been a great eater and, well, a bit too fluffy. I went down the basement, and my heart fell when I saw you there, laying on the floor. Your body was cold as you lay on the icy cement. I was shaking all over so badly I could barely call my husband. I couldn’t believe we had to dig another grave, the day after we dug Kali’s and explain to our son that our other kitty had died too. Our hearts felt shattered and we could not understand why you had to leave us too. Did Kali need you to go with her? Were you sick and we just didn’t see it? Did you miss Kali so much that you couldn’t live without her?
The last time we saw you, it all seemed so normal. You were yelling, you ate very well, you came up for petting and you even left fresh pee in the box. The next time I found you, I could see you had been dead a while. Did you come to say goodbye, have one last favorite meal, then leave us?
Whatever the reason, what you had to do was more important than helping us through our grief. We will never understand it, but accept it we must. We buried you right next to Kali, right under our old weeping willow, where your body will rest in peace forever. I am without kitties for the first time in many, many years and I am beside myself. Nothing will ever be the same. Even now I keep thinking I am hearing you meow, but I know it’s my mind playing tricks on me in my grief.
Nobody else can die now. I’ve lost too many loved ones this week.