Today has been my first day without you. I slept in late, Cory having left to get ready for rehearsal a few hours earlier. Minly and Mitten had left the room with him to beg for food. I have a glass of water on the windowsill, untouched by your troublesome paws. Everything is exactly where it should be, seeing you weren’t. The bedroom is quiet and empty now, so I fold up the softest blanket I can find and tuck it under my arm. It almost feels like you.
I am at my computer. I am getting a lot of work done without your distractions. I can easily type without little paws swatting at my fingers. My eyes can stay focused on the screen without you nuzzling my cheek from your perch behind me. I can get so much work done. I don’t really want to – I’d like to lie back and have you wrap around my shoulders like a scarf. Close my eyes to your gentle little sandpaper kisses on my cheek. When did this apartment get so cold? Christmas is coming, what should I do with your stocking?
Breakfast will be eaten slowly at the table. We run no risk of you trying to knock the toast out of my hand, or trying to reach into Cory’s mouth to retrieve it. We eat meat and cheese and all your favorite forbidden treats. We leave no scraps…the other cats turn their noses at these simple pleasures.
I am glad I got to be with you as you went. I got to hold you and look into those clear green eyes. Cory stroked your fur and kissed that perfectly flat part of your head between your ears. You looked so calm, so brave. Most importantly, you looked like one without any pain. Finally comfortable after all those weeks.
Today was my first day without you. My life will be a bit more productive and neater without you. The litterboxes a little cleaner. The food supply a little fuller. But I will never have another friend like I had with you. I will never feel as calm or as comforted or as loved as I did by you.