After fourteen years together, last night I lost my beautiful cat Willow.
You can imagine I’m wreck this morning.
This is the first time in 35 years I have woken up in a home without a pet. After my pup Mary died in June, it was just me and Willow. And we became each other’s constant companion.
Willow was always a clingy cat even when her sister Buffy and pup Mary were both alive. But after Mary’s death, Willow stuck by me so much I started calling her The Barnacle. If I was on the couch, Willow was on the couch. If I was at my desk, Willow was sitting on the desk beside me. When I went up to bed, she came too. She’d follow me down to the basement when I did laundry. She even followed me into the bathroom. Me and my Barnacle.
If you’re a regular reader of Patriot Retort, you might recall my mentioning Willow before. She was the cat I taught to fetch. Actually, I didn’t need to teach her; she just kind of picked it up on her own.
Willow had been slowing down over the last few weeks — her age finally catching up with her. And Thursday night she grew very listless, and I knew what was coming.
Yesterday morning I had to carry her down from the bedroom because she couldn’t do it on her own. Then she went down to the basement and didn’t come up even to eat. That filled me with dread. Because if there’s one thing Willow loves it’s mealtime. So I took the old dog bed and put it on the basement floor for her to lie on. Then I let her be — checking on her every half hour just to pet her and tell her I love her. By afternoon it was clear she wouldn’t make it through the day.
Willow passed away at ten o’clock last night. She wasn’t in any pain and her passing was peaceful.
I buried her this morning in the garden beside her sister Buffy and her puppy sister Mary, so she’s not alone.
I don’t know how much use I’ll be today. I’m just so very sad.
Farewell Willow. You have always been my faithful friend … and barnacle.
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