I miss you. I hope you're well. I know my letters are starting to sound the same. I can't help it. Somedays there's so much to say, and other days there isn't anything. I hope I'm not boring you with my repetitiveness.
I wanted to catch you up on my life.
Do you remember when we lived together? You were the first friend I saw in the morning, and most of the time the last friend I saw at night. I never had to get you caught up on me because you were always there. It was like we could speak to each other with out talking.
My son is three months old now, and he loves listening to me sing.
Do you remember my singing? I remember when I told you "when I sing a soft song, come see me." I didn't think you were listening to me. I remember the day I sang a soft song and I forgot what I had told you. Suddenly you were right behind me.
My son is growing like a weed. He’s fitting into six to nine month clothes.
Do you remember how little you used to be? I was there the day you were born. You were the middle kitten, like me. You had six siblings, and we adopted you with one of them. Mom was only going to adopt one kitten from your litter and it was going to be Rouge ( French word for red).
You grew at a rapid pace, my friends couldn't believe how big you were for a cat. They thought you were a small dog when they first saw you.
Do you remember when you first saw me? You were between support beams in a basement. Your eyes were bright and full of excitement. You were the only blonde kitten, with orange eyes. I begged Mom to adopt you into our family too. I don't know if you knew but the family taking care of you was for-a-lack-of-a-better-word mean. Most of your brothers died... The only reason I know that, is because the girl who asked us to adopt you, told me. Then she wanted you and Rouge back. I told her "no." She tried to fight me but I didn't waver.
Do you remember when I named you? My sister knew right way what she was naming your tame, relaxed, grey brother. She was attached to the game Sonic The Hedge Hog at the time, and one of the characters she fell in love with was named Rouge. You got your name form a Barbie movie. We didn't know you were brothers, so your name was Princess Erica. Then it changed to Prince Eric after your trip to the vet.
Do you remember living in Lethbridge? When me, my brother, and sister thought it was a fun idea to take you and Rouge down a water slide. We did it once and I felt horrible. My seven year old body was being crushed by a load of guilt it never experienced before. I yelled at my brother and sister to stop. Then we took you and Rouge back inside the house. Not without a couple of stinging gifts on my legs of course. I went to my bedroom to sulk, then you came meowing down the little hallway, and started hugging my legs.
Do you remember when we moved? It was the second time you were inside a vehicle. Your heart was pounding so hard and fast I thought it was going to explode. You didn't want to be helped by any of us, eventually you relaxed underneath one of the car chairs where nothing could get to you. We lived at my grandparents for a while. I'm sure you remember Serina, you two were back and forth. She was a Siamese cross with a Tabby. Patches was quiet so your feelings were indifferent. She was a white Long Hair with patches of black, grey, and orange on her coat. Both of them have passed away too...
Do you remember our bunk bed? When I tried to pull you off the top but I was losing my grip, so you clung on to my head with all four of your paws. That hurt, but looking back on it, it was funny... We didn't sleep on the top bunk together until we moved in with our Step Dad. You were like a guard dog. I remember the times you would wake me up... You knew I was having nightmares, and that I was a restless sleeper, but you slept at the end of my bed anyway. Even after the bunk bed was gone...
Do you remember Bandit and Rascal? They were the other two cats we lived with. They were like your step brothers. Bandit passed away years before Rascal... No one knew anything was wrong, he just collapsed and Mom and Dad found him when they got home. I remember having to take Rascal to the vet because his stomach was getting overly bloated. When I got there they told me he was sick and in pain. Rascal had to be put down. I know to you that generally means being put back on the floor... It means that Rascal was going to suffer a slow and painful death if we didn’t let the veterinarian kill him.
I hope you know that I never took Rascal to the veterinarian to die... I wanted to come back home with him in much better shape.
You knew he was gone... I remember you sitting with me while I cried on the floor holding his lifeless body for three hours. Then I took him to the freezer where Mom wanted him until we could bury him. You followed me outside and watched me put him there meowing at me.
The next day I came to see you. You were curled up in the last spot Rascal was sleeping before I took him to the vet. I went outside to the freezer to see him, you followed me again. Then we stayed outside together for a while, and you were trying to be cute. I thought it was because you knew I was sad. Later I confirmed it for myself, cats purr against their owners to comfort them. Like your mother did for you when you were born.
Whenever I came by to feed you, you would follow me around the house while I fed the Lizards. Do you remember them? Dave and Dragon. Dave passed away, but Dragon is alive and well. Do you remember Bailey, Gypsy and Bella? All three pups are alive. Bella misses you and Rascal. I remember when Rascal passed away, you gave Bella kisses like he used to. You let her excitement get in your face just like he did because she didn’t have him to do it with.
I suppose I got a bit carried away there... I've been feeling nostalgic lately. My finances are tough right now, and I've been feeling discouraged. You've been on my mind from the first day I started feeling "heavy" so to speak. You always had this way of making me feel better Eric, and making me feel safe and secure. You can't really do that anymore...
I should have known something was wrong, and that you needed help. I thought my connection to you would have given my intuition a fair warning. Not just a last minute dream.
I remember that dream... You were at the end of a hallway, and you paused when you saw me. I bent down and sat cross legged with my arms out. Waiting to give you a hug, you ran to me and snuggled into my legs. You welcomed the hug and fell into my grasp. When I awoke from the dream I told my husband that I needed to see you. I knew you needed me, but I wasn't sure for what.
That day I saw you in the afternoon. I found you in our old room sleeping on my sisters bed. I came in and gently pet your body, you jolted and sprung up into a stretch. Everything seemed to be okay and then you started breathing funny...
I told Mom that something was wrong. She monitored you before taking you to see the veterinarian. I remember taking photos with you that day. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be our last.
I’m sorry I didn’t take you to the vet sooner. I’m sorry that I didn’t think the dirt in your ears could lead to a more serious infection until it was too late. I’m sorry that you got sick on a weekend, and we didn’t have vet insurance to be able to get you help until Monday. I’m sorry that you were driven to the vet and your whole body was strained. I’m sorry that when you got to the vet they were 15 minutes behind. And I’m sorry you suffered a suffocating death...
All my other companions in this letter were and are special to me. Losing the ones that passed away broke my heart, but losing you was devastating.
Maybe the reason it hurt so much more was because we grew up together. I was there when you were born. I wanted to be there for you until the bitter end, but I couldn't be. The universe had other plans for us...
I remember coming to see you on October twenty-sixth. You ran out of the house, and you were going to find a place to hide and let death have his way. You came to a halt once you locked eyes with me, just like you did when we first met. Your eyes were big and begging. I called you back into the house to be with you. I sat with you while you laid on a chair and then the ground trying to get comfortable. Your lungs were in too much pain to lay in any position that you liked. Your poor body couldn't even handle our hugs. I tried being as comforting as I could for you.
Bella came to see us every two minutes too. She brought her toys to the porch and left them with you, she couldn't get them up on the chair though. I hope you know that Bella's intentions were the same as mine. We loved and still love you so much, all we could do was try to comfort you in that time. I wanted to do so much more for you Eric... I'm sure you know that...
Maybe it hurt more because of the research I did. The possibility that you could have been saved, or at least given a more comfortable death. I know you're probably wishing that I would stop. Stop thinking of all the ways I failed you as a friend. Stop thinking of what I could have done to make things better. You probably think I did everything I could, and had no choice but to leave your life in someone else's hands.
I keep reminding myself that even if you did survive you would have been hooked up to oxygen tubes for the rest of your nine lives. You would need to be monitored consistently and given medication. You would need so many things to help keep you alive, and they were things that neither Mom, Dad or myself could afford. Knowing you, we would have to constantly get you new oxygen tubes because you were an outside cat. You wouldn't be living.
The one thing that I’m happy for, is that you died in mom’s arms. At least you were still surrounded by love, instead of dying alone.
Once Mom called me to give me the news, I had to keep my cool. I was around other people, and I didn’t feel like exposing my emotional heart break. It was hard to even say your name, or talk about you for a long time. When I got home I broke down and ugly cried all night. No more visiting you at Mom’s house. No more taking care of you while they went camping. No more unconditional affection shared between a cat and his human.
Two nights later I had a second dream of you. I felt like I was walking on a cloud. I saw an opening of a white building, it looked like an entrance. I walked slowly towards it. Knowing my dreams I was worried a monster would be waiting for me inside.
The interior of the building was also white and light was bouncing off of the walls. There were rooms down a hallway and each room looked warm and cozy from the sun rays lighting them up. I walked into the first room that was on my right. It was set up the same way my room in Lethbridge was. It took me a moment to see that the only other color in the room was a blonde cat laying at the end of my bed.
I tried to say your name but the dream was quiet. It was like trying to listen to someone talk to me from the outside of a car. You turned around and visibly looked happy to see me. I hugged you and for the remainder of my dream we cuddled. I would have stayed there with you forever if I could, but you and I both had other places to be.
I woke up smiling the morning after that dream.
Another day went by and the night blessed me with another dream about you. The dream started with me walking up a mountain. The path was dirt and gravel with colorful flowers on each side. butterflies flew and crickets jumped out in front of me. I figured I was just walking to walk, maybe clear my head.
When I got to the top of the path, I saw a bench and two occupants sitting on it. I saw your tail and butt, and then I saw the grim reaper sitting with you with his scythe. I wanted to hug you and play with you, but I figured it wasn't the time. It seemed like an important meeting between the two of you. With my head down I walked back the way I came.
I seem to have a connection to cats, even if they aren't nice. I've thought about what having another kitten might look like for me and my family.
I know that I'm still grieving over the loss of our friendship. I haven't had any recent dreams of you or any sign that you might be around me, besides my tap water occasionally dripping. You always drank water from the taps in the house, and my taps don't normally leak.
Other times there's a small imprint of a circle at the end of my bed. Like a cat might have curled up there for a nap. I miss having you at the end of my bed. Even if you attacked my feet every once in a while. One night you got me so good that my foot actually kicked you back. Sorry about that. I'm a bit of a hazard when I'm still mostly asleep.
losing you and having Hayden has changed my perspective on a few things.
I would like another cat eventually. I would like more time to let you go, and I want to wait until Hayden is at a more responsible age. That way Hayden won't make as many silly mistakes that I did when it came to your health and safety.
I hope you can forgive me for not being there sooner and for letting my fears get in my way of helping you.
I will miss you forever, I hope that's alright with you.
Until my next letter that will sound identical to this one.
Good night Eric. I love you.