On Friday evening, December seventh, my twenty-one year old cat, Spirit, crossed the Rainbow Bridge. She was actually twenty-one and  nearly eight months old. Yes, I always counted because each day with her was a gift. I love all my cats, past and present. That includes the senior fosters who have come through our door. But there was something special about Spirit. She was the cat of my heart, and right now, my heart has been completely shattered. My head hurts from the tears that won't stop and the lack of sleep. When I started my writing day, she would always be there. She shared my pillow—okay, she got most of it and I took a small corner—and rested a paw or her head on mine. Not having that contact is…hard.

But whatever grief I'm going through was more than worth the love and joy she brought over the years.

We were so blessed to have her as long as we did. I was just hoping we'd have her a little longer.

Spirit was a pound and a half when I first held her in the palm of my hand. I was planning only to get one kitten, her brother Rocket, who was three and a half pounds at the time, but I couldn't leave this scrawny, itty-bitty, trembling gray thing. So I ended up with two cats. One of my best decisions ever.

She had a good life.

Like many cats, she wasn't fond of dogs, her harness and leash, other cats besides Rocket and Beauty though she was tolerating Yoda more, being alone, being brushed, having her nails clipped, going to the vet, being given her sub-Q fluids, or taking medication.

She loved being rubbed, getting treats, chasing the laser pointer (recently though that meant pawing at it), being next to me, any kind of turkey food (RadCat, Stella & Chewy's, Gerber Baby Food), her Christmas stocking, drinking from my water glass, and certain human food (chicken, salmon, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, milk from my cereal bowl, frosting from Safeway cupcakes.)

When she was hungry for a snack, she went to the left corner of the bed. When she wanted attention, she cried. She had stairs to get up and down our bed. When those were getting harder for her to negotiate, hubby added another step and covered then to make it easier.

She seemed to like when I was sleeping or writing or working on my planner—me, my MacBook Pro, and my Happy Planner/books were her favorite cushions. She also had her special spots like my pillow and her rocking chair.

Spirit was never the healthiest of cats, but she outlived her brother Rocket, Smalls,  Miss Mousie, and Thoth, all who lived into the high teens in years. She ate things she shouldn't have and more than once ended up at the vet or animal hospital. The first time she was only eight months old. She needed the radioactive iodine (I-131) treatment when she was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism around nine years old and had a reaction to the Methimazole drug they'd prescribed. She had more imaging than imaginable due to trying to figure out digestive issues. She was also diagnosed with chronic renal failure and was once resuscitated at an emergency vet hospital while they were doing a procedure to check her throat. That led one of my kiddos to call her “Reanimator Kitty.” We only found this out through a report they'd sent to the vet, though before we left they'd suggested not using an anesthetic with her again.

More than a few times over the years, we were told to prepare ourselves for her passing. The reasons varied, but she always pulled through. So when I received a call on Tuesday from Spirit's vet (hubby had taken her in for a recheck due to an ear infection so I could finish a book that's due) I must admit I was blindsided because her ears were better and her kidney values from the latest blood tests had improved. I prayed for yet another miracle. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be. She is profoundly missed.

I will cherish the memories of years with Spirit and hold her love in my heart.

I love you and always will, my sweet Spirit.



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