When I brought you home on March 1, 1989, I had no idea the length of time that you would be in my life. You were just 8 weeks old, a small kitten that I was so afraid of squishing the first few nights you were around. My mom and I got you from the pet store in a mall in Austin. I remember carrying you out in my arms, this tiny little thing. I remember very clearly the first time you purred the night I brought you home. I was amazed at this big crackling purr coming from your tiny body.
We had good times together in Austin at 6700 Shiner Street. I remember so much about these years with you there. Like the day we searched and searched for you because you had disappeared eventually finding you burrowed in the basket of warm laundry. Or the first time you saw yourself in the mirrored closet doors in my parents bathroom, your back arched and your hair standing straight up while you hissed at the calico in the mirror. Or getting you wound up so that you would chase after me, tearing up the stairway to the second floor while I stayed at the bottom until you figured out I hadn't come up after you.
Always so mischievous you were. You did the common kitten things like pulling the toilet paper off the roll. But I remember leaving new packages of toilet paper on the stairway only to hear you a few hours later attacking the paper, each roll in the package missing paper from it and having huge teeth marks in the rolls. Or getting out of the shower and coming back into the bedroom to get dressed and finding my socks had gone missing because you dragged them off the bed to play with them. (This led to me "giving" you a pair of beige socks of your own to play with so that mine would stick around so that I could find them after my shower where I left them.) Of course there was the time that I had my betta fish in a cup while I was cleaning out the fish bowl and you shoved the glass bowl off the sink in the bathroom. You loved to splash the water at the top of the bowl. I did not love picking up the broken glass and fishbowl gravel out of the carpet.
My favorite memories of you have to be of your purring. You purred easily and often purred without much attention, content to just be sitting next to me. I loved being able to get you so blissed out that you would open your mouth and purr very loudly. I remember being in the recliner at the front of the living room and my mom being able to hear you in the dining room. You also loved to burrow in my hair. You nuzzled my neck and kneaded me relentlessly as you blissed out in my hair. Whenever I would go on vacation, you would relent after a few days and get your attention from my mom. Though with her short hair, there was none to nuzzle so you would nuzzle her armpit instead.
You hated when I was gone from home for a few days. I can remember coming home and you would start yelling at me when you saw me on the driveway out the windows by the front door. Your little sides would expand as you took in a big breath and they would compress as you exhaled. You loved to give me hell for being gone.
You were definitely never a great bounty hunter. I remember you discovering spiders on the carpet and your attack method was to pat your paw in the vicinity of the spider and then take off running. You also would sit and stare at the wood roaches in Texas. I would come into the kitchen and see your head tilted to the side and I would know you were staring at a roach on the floor.
You lived on Shiner Street with me while I finished high school and went off to college. In my junior year, you moved with me into my first apartment. You had an alright time that first year with all the assorted people that came through that apartment. My senior year in college I moved into the apartment with just Jennifer. You took to Jennifer very well. She was really the first person you loved like you loved me. You would even nuzzle her hair, I was reminded of this tonight when I found a picture of you and Jennifer snuggling. (And back to the roaches.. you were sitting on the coffee table while I was on the phone with Mike and again your head was cocked to the side as you stared up at the wall at the roach climbing there.. such an awesome huntress you were.)
I graduated and stayed in that apartment until my lease was up. I moved out of there and moved to California that very same day. What a traumatic day that was. You were originally going to come with me on the plane, but in the drama that was that day, you stayed behind. Mike came and got you a few weeks later. I was so thrilled to see you again, how much I had missed you. We started our new life together in California.
I remember the first time in your life you were really sick when I lived in Daly City. I remember walking in the door and you barely lifted your head to acknowledge I had entered. I took you to the vet and you stayed there a few days while you got treated. I can remember picking you up after that stay, and having one of the veterinary technicians saying to me "She IS a brat!!". You were never big on being poked and prodded, that's for sure.
We moved to Redwood City and got the Chubbo while we lived there. Oh how mad you were. You had been my queen bee for 9 years and then we brought in the house this naughty youngster that just wanted to play with you. And man did you not want anything to do with her! You were so glad when we had taken her to the vet to be declawed and spayed. You so thought that she was gone. And oh man how mad you were all over again when she came back. You never did get very friendly with her, you would tolerate her but you never really got to liking her much. You would whap the sides of her face whenever she was naughty and started pawing at you. I laughed at her dumb look on her face because she wasn't smart enough to understand what the hell was going on.
You lived in Redwood City.. then Menlo Park.. and finally to Sunnyvale. You were pretty old by the time we got to Sunnyvale, I guess you were 13 or 14. There was the one night where I hadn't quite closed the front door behind me and you snuck out the open front door. I didn't realize you had gotten out until the next morning. I was panicking when you were nowhere to be found inside and I was running through the yard calling for you. I finally heard you answering me, meowing from under the neighbors car. Oh how scared I was. But you were alright, you just smelled oily from sleeping under the car on the asphalt driveway. You got a bath for that, something I know you didn't really like!
You always have been MY cat. Everyone else was just a useful minion, but I was the center of your universe. You were never really a clingy cat when you were younger (although you did love to sleep in the back of my knees under the blanket, an awesome thing to do in Texas..), but lately you had become much more clingy. I went to sleep with you perched on my side, staring at me as I fell asleep. You stalked me as I walked through the bedroom, followed me into the bathroom and demanded I pick you up and hold you. You would stand up with your front paws on my knees and stare at me pathetically, whining at me to pick you up and hold you. I did oblige, I could not resist your wily ways.
You never got to be a very large cat, you were just 9ish lbs at your heaviest in your youth. Every so often some sickness would cause you to lose some weight and some more weight. In recent days, your weight diminished even more as you shrunk down to 4.3 lbs last Saturday. The kidney disease took its toll on you. But you were healthy for so long, so rarely did you get sick. I was so blessed to have you be so healthy for so long.
I had been praying that I would not have to make the decision on whether or not to continue treating you for your ailments. I hoped your body would make the decision for me. I knew it would be impossibly difficult to make the decision, but I knew you well enough that I had faith that you would tell me when it was your time to go even if your body didn't quit. I was thinking of trying to combat your dehydration enough so that you could possibly start eating again. And then I realized how unfair that would be to you, my sweet girl. You slept in my arms the past few nights. I will treasure those times.
For 6,706 days you were a part of my life. You have been with me for over half of my life. I was just 16 when we got you in 1989 and now in 2007 when you have left me I am 35. I miss you so much already and it has only been 6 hours since you left. Thank you for all your love.
Sweet dreams, my good girl.