You know when you bring them into your life that it’ll end like this. That cats and dogs don’t live as long as humans and that it would take an honest-to-God miracle for them to make to the old folks home with you. But you bring them into your home anyways. You make them your family.
Yesterday afternoon we lost our cat Agatha. Calling her “our cat” seems wrong though. Some of you knew her through this blog and our books. The breakfast sandwich in Betty Goes Vegan we named after her – “The Number One” actually gets fan mail from time to time. Some of you even followed that silly tumblr page I started for her and were outraged that the website Review My Cat only gave her a B. A few of you actually had the opportunity to meet and know her. You know she was much more than a cat to me.
For almost ten years Agatha has been so much more. She sat on a pillow on my desk for years, listening to me type, watching the doves that nested outside our window and stealing the Tofurky slices out of my sandwiches. She joined me and Cassandra for wine and America’s Next Top Model marathons. Purring for hours as she sat between us. Enjoying some quality girl time.
When I started IVF and had horrible insomnia from the drugs, she stayed up with me every night watching Star Trek. Sitting on my lap or on the back of the sofa just behind my head… purring until she fell asleep… for years. When I had round-the-clock morning sickness with our first pregnancy, she would lick my head after I got sick like I was her kitten. She sat with me through bedrest and she sat with me through the crushing depression that hit after we lost our first daughter. People often compare their relationships with their companion animals as being parental but it wasn’t always like that between us. We were more than friends and yet there is no family roles that would describe us either. To call her my companion is just not enough. For years, she was a part of me.
She let me spoil her with people food. Carry her everywhere. Dress her up on Halloween and patiently went from being an aloof little cat who quacked instead of meowed to being my constant and I admit the outlet for all my mothering ambitions.
When Sadie came, things changed and it was hard for her. She clearly didn’t like sharing my attention and I admit I could have handled that better. Ironically, when Sadie started pre-school recently, we started to go back to way things were. She sat with me while I wrote during the days. She began sleeping with us again. Things went back to the way the were. Just in time for the end.
I wish I could tell you the end was peaceful, quick and painless. All I can say is that there was no doubt that it was time and our home is a little less a home this morning. She started her life 15 years ago in the parking lot of a hotel Indianapolis and now she lives in my heart. I was her “Ah-Wa”… whatever that means in cat.
I was her’s and she was mine.