Early this morning, I held my kitty Anna in my arms and said goodbye. Her little six-and-a-half-pound body was doing battle with a large mass attached to her kidney, so George and I set her free. The moment her heart stopped beating, I felt the gut punch of her absence. She was gone and our time together was over.
Being a card-carrying dog person, I had no idea that little feline would purr and nudge her way so deeply into my heart. During the indoor months, she was my frequent office companion: sleeping on my desk, wedged behind me in my chair like a purring lumbar pillow, plunging her head into the water glass next to my computer. On TV nights, she took her place in the human-pet lineup on the futon, jockeying for position with Shona. When I settled in with a book, she curled up atop the Pendleton blanket on the back of the couch, reading over my shoulder. But as soon as summer weather arrived, she spent her days sprawling on the deck in the sun, helping me weed and water in the garden, or—more frequently these days—snoozing in the shaded, cushioned comfort of the Adirondack chair. Today, these places feel empty without her.
I’m sending out thanks to the little cat who gave us so many smiles and boundless affection. I will miss her companionship—her inimitable Anna-ness—as I write, read, garden and curl up for a nap. And I will miss her when the two cases of premium, grain-free canned cat food that I ordered last week arrive on our doorstep this afternoon. Pate and crackers, anyone?