I died a little with you. That’s figurative. But you died. That’s literal.
And all I have left is a damn little box that I picked up from the vet today. I don’t have you. I will never hold you in my arms again. I will never brush your soft long fur, or feel your small body trembling with a purr while you sit on my lap again. You will never again look on me with those quizzical green eyes. All I have are the memories now.
You were a part of every day of my life, wound into the ordinary moments, while you lived and I loved you. You were my furry “child” when my children of today were just glimmers in my mind.
I knew you from a tiny, feisty little abandoned kitten. I shared my home with a tiny ball of fur and attitude as you grew into a sweet and poised young cat.
And then as you aged, slowed down and became firmer in your ways and turned into a crotchety little old lady, demanding to sit not only on my shoulder when I ate on the couch, but so far forward I could almost see only you, waiting for a moment to swipe at my spoon. I’m sorry now for the times I pushed you away; I would share all my ice cream with you now.
I feel your loss in all the places in my life where you aren’t anymore. In the sidelong glimpses when I think I see you for a split second before I remember.
Your last weeks, I spoiled you. Anything to get you to eat. And it worked. But only for a few days. The cortisone injection, and the subcutaneous fluids, the amoxicillin, and the oral steroids. I keep all those little bottles in my kitchen and the bag of Sodium Chloride in my bathroom; I can’t cut those cords yet. I can’t quite accept that you will never need them again.
My children are too young. Too young to know you, grieve you, miss you. Only your name is recognizable to my oldest and he has no concept that you are gone/of death. So, I grieve you alone. Alone in the house where you lived and I loved you. Alone in the corner where I fed you the special canned food for sick kitties while fighting off the others who wanted it. Alone on my couch, eating without your thin body curled over my shoulder. Empty in the corners where you liked to sleep. Empty lap where you would curl up at inconvenient times and I would sit still, never knowing which would be my last cuddle. Missing your sweet little presence and demanding ways. I stare at your damned little box and it isn’t you anymore; just the ashes of our love.
RIP my little princess.