August 05, 2009
Missed By: Heather
June 14th, 1995 � August 5th, 2009
I am extremely fortunate to have spent the past fourteen glorious years with my beloved cat, Smokey. They say that �words cannot begin to explain�� and I am a firm believer in that statement. After all, words cannot begin to explain how much love, joy, and emotion my darling graced me with.
I remember our first years together.
You were only weeks old and I was five-years-old: I remember this so distinctively because you were my birthday present. Little did I know how wondrous this �present� would be. At first, you were frightened, and I do not blame you � I must have looked rather strange, considering you were surrounded by so many brothers and sisters. To be quite honest, I do not remember much of our earlier years. I was only a child.
However, I have many fond memories that can make up for that time period.
I remember receiving a �generous present� for Christmas � a half-dead cockroach, but I know you thought it was the best thing to give. I remember how much you loved to eat. It didn�t even matter what it was! You certainly wouldn�t turn your nose at a tiny piece of a cracker, cheese doodle, sun chip, bread � goodness; you ate anything I would allow you to have. You licked my apple cores when I finished them. You did so happily. However, I think your absolute favorite was seafood � I would always cut up a piece of shrimp, just for you, whenever I had shrimp for dinner. You would always beg for more. Sometimes, you would jump up with your adorable paws resting on my legs.
You were never granted the pleasure of the outside world until we moved for the third time. Until the last year, you weren�t able to go outside. However, it didn�t take long before you had a great passion for the outside � you loved sitting in the grass, with your face turned to the sun, your eyes crinkling up and a smile so proudly displayed on your little handsome face. You loved sitting in the dirt, making me cringe because you might be too dirty to go without a bath. And don�t think I forgot about that time you rolled around in the mulch pile! How could I? You certainly had a bath afterwards. Most of all, you loved the flowers. You loved to sit under them, shade included.
You were never a lap kitty, but you did love to sit on the bed. You loved to curl up next to me, sometimes with your head resting on my arm. You always purred. I loved to hear you purr � there�s nothing more soothing than to hear you purr, my darling. It was, and still is, my favorite sound in the entire world. I could rub your wonderful, thick grey fur and you would start churning like an engine. The same went for chin scratches � you just loved those, and you would stretch your chin out as far as possible. But most of all, you loved your brush. One brush sent you into a purring frenzy.
You never had a problem marking your territory; generally, it ended up all over my arm. Your grandma and I still have the scars to prove it! We�ll treasure them for the rest of eternity. I still remember you chasing me if you thought I offended you, and that would usually end with you latching onto my leg and gnawing away. I don�t mind it now. And I remember how you would jump up the stairs, like a little bunny rabbit, and always be right at the table when dinner was ready.
But something happened.
Something that I wasn�t expecting.
You were ill, Smokey. You were very ill. You knew it, too. You knew something was wrong, but you never told us. It started just a few days ago. You gradually lost weight. Considering you were twenty-one pounds, we were happy. We thought you were getting more exercise outside. But that wasn�t so. You stopped eating, my pet. You barely ate, and you managed to lose five and a half pounds; you were fifteen and a half pounds, and that was still days before you completely stopped eating. You weren�t as energetic, but you still cried to go outside to your colorful garden. You started to drink less and less. It was a miracle just getting you to drink a few laps. And then, you refused water. You were so weak, my baby. You couldn�t walk right; you would wobble � do you remember? Do you remember when you tried jumping off my bed and tumbled right on the ground? Oh, how that made my heart sink. You weren�t feeling good, my sweetheart, my darling, my beloved best friend. You just weren�t right.
Do you remember the pictures we took that evening? Grandma suggested we should take some pictures, and I�m so thankful we did. I can�t wait to get them developed. And then, my darling, you were so weak. You didn�t want to stay in my room, so I brought you to the bathroom. I tried to get some sleep, but it was impossible. I kept coming down, crying when I saw you pacing around the bathroom, wobbling around (for we believe you had a mini-stroke, my pet) and clearly becoming delusional. You cried, but not a painful cry, for it was not continuous. You just knew something was wrong. How my heart continued to shatter. I tried going back to sleep, but within minutes I was back with you, my weakened, glorious darling. You were starting to breath in a funny way. It was raspy, and then you just had to keep your mouth open. I kept waking grandma up, devastated, and I know you knew it. I just couldn�t keep myself from crying in your presence. But grandma and I were with you for the last few hours. Do you remember? We were petting you, stroking your lovely fur, and whispering. We knew you were slowly fading away. But you weren�t in pain, my love, do not fret. You are safe now.
The last hours were the worst. I�m still crying. Grandma was taking a shower and I was comforting you � your tongue was hanging out of your mouth, the inside of your ears were pale, your gums were pale, too. Your pupils were dilated. I wondered how much longer it would be. And then, you cried. Not a painful cry. You were afraid, I believe. You didn�t know what was happening, but it�s okay now. It�s okay. You continued to try and escape the bathroom, but we wouldn�t let you, for fear you would pass away in a tight spot that would require you to be dragged out.
You just weren�t well, my beloved friend.
I was going to tell great-grandma that it was time: it was time for you to have your last visit at the vet. However, that never happened. I was getting ready when I turned to look at you. You were dead, my lovely. Your eyes were pitch black, dilated, with no sign of life. Your mouth was wide open, tongue out, pale gums exposed. You weren�t breathing, my beloved, and I cried.
I cried, cried, cried.
I am crying now.
I cried when I wrapped your cold body in a towel.
I cried when we brought you to the vet � but don�t worry! I brought your favorite duckie toy with you, and he�s here with me now.
I cried when your body became stiff.
I was still in denial.
I hoped that you would come back.
I cried when the vet took you out of your box.
I noticed you had your last bowel movement, my lovely, darling boy.
I cried when I gave you your last hug, your last kiss, your last pet, your last scratch.
Our last moments together.
But you�ll be home, soon!
Your ashes will be here in a few days. I cannot wait.
Moreover, I cannot wait until we see each other again. Not just your shell, but your beautiful soul. The beautiful boy who gave me so much joy, yet caused me so much heartache.
But I do not regret it.
I regret nothing.
I know that, in the future, I will be glad I stayed with you until the very end. I just hope you were happy, my pet. My beloved, beloved pet. I hope you had the best life. I hope you regret nothing. I hope that I was the best mommy. And I hope that we see each other again.
Until that time, my pet, I will have my memories, my pictures, and your ashes to keep me company. And the sky, because I know you are looking down at me right now! If only I could see you.
Rest in peace, my beloved Smokey.
You deserve it.