I love you, baby. I’m so sorry this happened to you. And I’m sorry to make the decision that I did. I hope you forgive me. I couldn’t be guaranteed you’d get better, and I didn’t want you to suffer through a winter outside.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the last three months outside. I think you did. I watched you from my bedroom window, curled up in the grass, watching the birds. Your tail twitching. Those birds could have been toast if you’d have wanted to chase them! And that mouse I found near my car this summer – that was you, wasn’t it? Silly girl. You were the BEST mouser ever! We’ll never forget the night that you caught the mouse in the kitchen. Mom and Dad were making supper, and you were super focused on one of the cupboards. Somehow you got hold of the mouse, then Dad scooped it up, then he dropped it, then you caught it, then he caught it, and dropped it again! He should have let you take care of it. haha
I remember the day you came to us. Someone found you wandering around their neighborhood in town. We said you could come here and live outside. So you came here. And we found out that you were declawed in the front. No outsiding for you. Plus, I loved you instantly and wasn’t gonna let you out of my sight. So we fattened you up a little. But you just kept getting fatter. When it looked like you’d swallowed a ball, we decided you must be preggers! Silly goose! Stupid owners though – didn’t spay you when they declawed you. Anyway, you had two beautiful little munchkins. And we gave them to a friend. And then we spayed you.
And you became my best friend. I went off to college but missed you everyday. When I came home for a year after graduation, you slept at my feet almost every night. Sometimes you’d follow me around the house, and sometimes you’d hole up in a closet somewhere. And when I lived on the rez for a year, you were there for me. You didn’t care if I’d been humiliated by my boss, or if one of the elders who was taking wacko medication made lewd comments at me, or if I’d actually had a good and productive day – when I got home, you expected kibbles and snuggles. You didn’t judge me when I cried of loneliness. In fact you often jumped on my bed and laid on my tummy. You made me laugh with your nightly “zooms” – that five minutes of whipping all over the apartment like a maniac, just before bedtime. And remember that night I didn’t feel good and rolled my back on a tennis ball on the floor, and you came up behind me and BIT my head! And drew BLOOD!!! Little shit. I constantly had to wipe off the counter b/c I gave up on trying to keep your fours on the floor. You could be such a troublemaker! You really could bite ya know that? Damn. I’m scarred for life! haha But I know I wouldn’t have survived that year without you. Coming home to you every night was the best part of my day.
You were one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever had. You could snuggle with the best of them. You had a knack for knowing when I needed a snuggle. I loved when you’d go through phases of sleeping on my head. As fun as it was to wake up choking on fur, I loved loved loved when you slept with me. I loved when you’d crawl under the covers and sleep under my bent knees. Your purr soothed me so many times. And your fur was so fluffy and soft. A few times I woke up to you stretched out, snuggled up to my side, so I put my arm around you. I loved those moments when you’d be sitting on the edge of a table or counter, and I’d stand in front of you. I’d start scratching behind your ears and you’d lean in and put your forehead on my tummy. Those are the moments I knew you loved me.
Then came the Indiana Years. School was tough sometimes, but you were always there to lift my spirits. And then came along the Kitten. I couldn’t blame you when you hissed and fretted over her arrival. She was definitely gonna make our household dynamic change. You kinda went from my baby to my friend. It was a change we all had to adjust to – but we made it. You soon took her in and gave her a place in your heart. I thought you might. I thought your mama instinct would kick in. You’re a sweetie. And boy did she looooove you! haha She followed you around and played with you as much as you’d let her! I distinctly remember her taking a flying leap off the coffee table onto your back. I laughed so hard! You were such a good sport that first year.
And last year in Milwaukee, you were a trooper for traveling with me up there. You and Tortie kept me company. And I’m so grateful for that. For your love. Cats are finicky. And you were SUCH a cat! Your tail gave me an immediate read on your mood. You’d whip it around when you were irritated. It curled when you were in a good mood, up for play. I swear you’d wrap it around my leg when you brushed past me. Ya know that’s how you got your name? Brother decided to call you Tickles because he thought it tickled when you rubbed up against his legs. I wasn’t so convinced. I thought it was a silly name. But it turns out to have fit you perfectly. And so the nicknames ensued – Tickles Bickles, T Bickles, TB, Miss Kitty, Silly Pants, Tickles Pants, Pants, Miss Puss, etc. Shoot, the Pants name even extended to my friends. Daniel Pants, Dani Pants, Amanda Pants….and my grad school boyfriend just/still called me Pants.
You’ve been SUCH a huge part of my life for the past 13 years. I can’t thank you enough for letting me be your human. You’re my best friend. I’ll love you forever. And I’ll tell all my future kitties about the standard you set for friendship. It’s hard for me to trust people sometimes, I think that’s why we connected so well. I always thought we were partners in crime.
Burying you last night was so hard. I wanted to hold you again. I swear the thought crossed my mind today – I could just dig you up and hold you one last time. I won’t, b/c at this point it’s gross, not to mention a little crazy. But I am going to miss you, Kitty. I miss you already. Just having you in the house the last two days, taking care of you. Syringing water into your mouth. Cleaning the blood off your paws. Cutting away the fur that was matted. Giving you a washcloth bath. Listening to you purr was like music to my ears! I want to believe that you knew I wasn’t going to hurt you, that I was trying to help you. You’d lay back on your side and let me work. As terrible as it was that you were injured, I’m glad that your last days were spent inside and being cared for. I sobbed into your fur, I think I knew what was coming. And when the vet told me what we’d have to do, just to see if you might heal, I made the difficult decision to let you go. Maybe it was selfish on my part, but I just keep trying to remind myself that you’ve just spent the last three months in heaven on earth, playing in the grass. That you’d been completely loved your whole life with me. That I’d fed you well. Kept you healthy. Played with you. Snuggled you. Slipped you bits of banana…
You made me smile and laugh and cry sometimes. My life will go on, and I’ll be fine. But I’ll never forget you. We buried you in the garden so maybe flowers or veggies would grow over your grave. Sometime beautiful or delicious. B/c you were beautiful. My gorgeous girl.
I’ll love you forever and ever and ever and ever.
Ps. Say hi to Tony in Kitty Heaven. And if you get visiting hours with Doggy Heaven, say hi to Maddie. Tell her I miss her. Okay, love you. See you in my dreams.