My heart was heavy today, and my right eyelid was still swollen from all the bursting into tears that happened over the past 48 hours. I had to take L-Lysine with breakfast to fend off a cold sore, which only appears when my body is wracked with extreme stress.

People were empathic and kind to me today. My appearance, slower demeanor, and heavy heart must have been visible.

I went out of my way to ask other people how they were doing, realizing that I was becoming a black hole of needing comfort. I walked the dog first thing in the morning, which the exercise and getting out of the house felt helpful in integrating and healing my body, after 24 hours of laying on the floor next to my suffering kitty with her head in my hand.

Things are starting to add up, like why she was the least active and most calm and cuddly of her litter (which is why I chose her), and why she didn’t like to play with toys for very long (she would easily tire). Maybe even why she always hated having her stomach touched out of all places (and I “tested” her often, being a trained massage therapist).

I kept looking, listening, and feeling for her today out of habit. I half-think she is still around somewhere.

I went to my astrology class immediately after her passing last night. We talked about cats being Leo-based (some have placed them elsewhere but I think Leo’s influence can’t be denied). My housemate Lisa called her my “familiar,” and, in a way, I did express myself to the world with my choice of companion over the past ten years.

She was courageous, head-strong, reactive but easily-forgiving, beautiful with silky soft fur, always clean and smelled fantastic, and was emotionally sensitive–coming when called, comforting me when I was sad or sick, and willing to receive pleasure in the form of a pet or snuggle up to my foot, whenever fancy struck her, without being overbearing.

It must be why I pined for a cat for all five years of college, vowing to get one as soon as I got my own home, despite having a boyfriend who was allergic!

She greeted me at the door every night, and if I fawned over her, she would roll around on her back stretching her legs, being irresistibly cuter and cuter. She loved being the center of attention.

She taught me a lot about attention, and many other things.

She taught me to break up my attention if I was working too intensely and stop to pet her. She even reminded me to go to bed several times, or to stop what I was doing to refocus. She taught me to see the demons inside me who wanted to physically punish her or control her for innocent or justified actions on her part. She taught me boundaries. She taught me about communication, verbal and non-verbal. I feel like she prepared me to be a better parent one day. She taught me the value of companionship. We took care of each other.

I was so proud of her when she took a journey into the night a year ago, disappearing from my backyard on the fence line (after looking at me for permission), and had an all-night adventure. She returned in the morning a little ruffled up and stayed close to me in my room for several days after. It was her first time spending more than thirty minutes outside in probably 8 years.

It was fun giving her a little Taurine supplement the first time. She looked around the room like she was stoned and seeing things she never noticed before, and next thing I know when I’m not looking, she’s climbed the ladder to the attic and hunting mice. She hated ladders and hadn’t shown any interest in hunting up to that point (besides the occasional bug).

I thought of her kidneys, and how much of the damage was possibly my fault: if I had fed her the wrong things, the wrong way, or if I had exposed her to too many stressful situations (moving homes, teasing/play) that she had become overworked of adrenaline.

But I know that I loved her, I always bought her the best foods I could afford, gave her her favorite freeze-dried mice treats occasionally.

She started off only sleeping at my feet, and throughout the years worked her way up closer to my head over above me. Many mornings I would wake up to her sleeping on me and she’d be too heavy so I’d groan and roll over. She also enjoyed sleeping on my phone, which I rarely allowed mostly for radiation concerns.

I loved waking up with her and going to sleep with her. She was so adorable all tired out at night.

If she wanted my attention in the kitchen or living room, she would sometimes stretch up on her hind legs and touch me with her paw gently. She loved coming in the bathroom with me and sitting on my lap or drinking water from the faucet. I even taught her to shake the water off her head before jumping out of the tub.

She never liked wet cat food but would sometimes lick my cereal or ice cream bowls out. She liked salty cheese like my favorite aged Gouda. She was pretty spoiled.

I don’t think it’s all a coincidence that she started getting sick on my nine month “lunaversary” with my new boyfriend. She got me through my relationship “gestation period”, then turned me over into his loving arms. I’m so, so grateful for her love in my life.

A part of me is gone, but I have grown in loving her.