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Friday, 14 February 2014

It's so Hard to Say Goodbye

Yesterday evening, I said goodbye to my best friend of 17 years.

On November 10th, 1996, I went to my aunt's in Etobicoke to receive an early Christmas present. When I got there, this tiny grey and white kitten sleeping on my uncle's chest. He immediately handed her to me, and I sat down on the couch with her on my chest. I sat there, watching her sleep, thinking about how sweet she looked and how big her ears were. We sat there for quite awhile, and I took that time to come up with a name for this tiny, seven weeks old kitten. The grey which covered her back, and the majority of her left front leg and half of her right back leg, was very light and reminded me of a misty morning. Thus, her name became Misty.

Shortly after we got her. Notice the big ears?
The ears are due to her lineage; her father was Siamese.

She came home in a box on my lap, pawing at my fingers all the way. When we took her inside the apartment, my mom put Misty inside her coat to keep her warm. Once inside, we showed her where her litter box was, and where her food and water dishes were, and then let her explore her new home.

Over the next few weeks, we got to know just who she was. Independent, expressive, playful, a little messy, and very caring. Had she have bred, she would have made an excellent mother. She mothered me almost right from day one. I can't count how many times I would hear her climbing up my bed's comforter (because she was too small to jump onto the beds), and then feel her walk around me to sit on my pillow. Then, she would proceed to lick my forehead and face. Kitty-bathes came to be something that soothed me, something I looked forward to receiving.

As she grew, not only did she grow into her ears, she became set in her ways, and she became my best friend. We used to chase each other up and down the hall in a game of tag. We used to have an upholstered rocking chair where the living room met the hallway, and she would launch herself off the back of it, and then proceed to chase me down the hall. Then, the tables would turn, and I would chase her back out to the living room. This game of tag would go on for 20 minutes or more, or until one of us tuckered out. (It was usually me.) Every time I yelled “Ow!”, she came running to see what was the matter. When I was sick or injured, she never left my side. She'd often get under the covers with me, or sleep on my pillow. She would lick my forehead if I made so much as a groan.
Lounging in the chair she used to launch herself from.

Perched on top of the shower doors in the bathroom.

Over the course of the last seventeen years, we took care of each other in the ways we knew how. I'd take care of her by giving her food, cleaning her litter box and giving her lots of love. She would take care of me by giving me baths and by simply keeping me company. She was my confidante, my baby, my best friend.
Hello there, pretty kitty.

Just hanging out.

I was with her in her final moments, and cradled her in my arms as she slipped away. After seventeen years of loyalty, it was only right that I be with her when she needed me most; just as she had done for me.

I know she has been reunited with my dad, and the two are enjoying each others' company again. She will live on the photos that were taken of her, and the good times we had will remain in my memory.

I love you, Misty; always have, always will.