It's been just over 24 hours since the shocking, sad loss of our Nacho Kitty. While those last moments were terrible, and I'm sure I'll never forget them, I don't want them to overshadow the four years of happy memories our little pip squeak gave us.
This was one of the first pictures I ever took of her, shortly after she appeared on our doorstep one cold evening in November 2007. She was so friendly, I thought surely she must belong to someone. But we put up posters and no one ever claimed her. By then, she had claimed our hearts. Just look at that adorable face! She was about 6 months old when she found us.
She quickly settled in as part of the family and developed a wonderful friendship with Little Kitty. They were snuggle buddies and playmates. The day before Nacho died, they were up in the window watching birds together. I wish I'd taken a picture of that.
Despite her chronic breathing problems, this kitty was unstoppable. She might have a coughing fit one minute, but then as soon as it was over, she'd be back to her normal mischief-making.
She wasn't supposed to be on this high shelf, and she certainly wasn't supposed to be in this flower pot! Fortunately, I'm a terrible gardener, so whatever had once been growing in there was already ruined anyway. Besides, this photo brings more smiles to my face than any plant could have done.
I miss you, pip squeak. It's not fair that your life had to be cut so short by an ailment you were born with. You got a raw deal in the lung department. But did you ever let it get you down? No way. I've never known any animal who was full of so much pure joy and zest for life as you were.
Having you in my life taught me two important lessons: 1) Although losing a pet leaves a big hole in people's hearts (as I was still grieving for Dinah when I met you), that hole can heal when the people let a new pet into their lives; and 2) When you have a bad spell, don't let it stop you. Just get through it, and get back up, and go right back to making mischief and living life to the fullest.
This morning a friend reminded me of an old song, and this line sums up what I'm feeling as I remember my furry little sidekick: "You didn't have to love me, but you did, but you did. And I thank you."