The kind words of support meant a lot to me. Monday was a truly awful day.
Kitty was diagnosed with kidney problems in December of 2007, so I have long known that the day was coming. I had thought that his lengthy illness would somehow make it easier in the end to let him go, but it did not. He truly wasn't suffering, up until the end--he was still purring and full of life. That's part of what made it so hard.
I know, on the one hand that he was "just a cat." On the other hand, he was an enormous source of comfort for me in the most difficult of times. The last few years have been tough on so many levels--the miscarriage, the stress of some of the health issues I've been through, and the drama and professional disallusionment caused by the Big Project, among other things. He was a bright and happy spot for me throughout.
He purred the minute I touched him--sometimes just at the mere sight of me. He curled up with me for hours on end, and was always happy to be picked up and cuddled. His favorite thing was to climb up onto my shoulder and snuggle into my neck--cute when he was a kitten, but spine-bending for most of the last decade! On the many, many nights that I suffered from crushing insomnia, he would lay on my chest and purr me to sleep. He always came when I called his name, no matter where he was. If he was out in the woods behind the house, he would start meowing from wherever he was, before I could even see him, as though to tell me that he was on his way. When my husband tried to exclude the cats from the bedroom in recent months so that they wouldn't disturb our sleep with their antics, kitty took to hiding in our bedroom until after the door was closed and the lights were off. He would then sneak up next to my pillow, where I'd awaken in the middle of the night to find him sleeping next to my head. He had a special personality for a cat. I miss him terribly.
I especially miss him today, as I am facing more medical tests and more stress. On Friday, I go in for a bon.e scan and an M.RI to follow up on the findings from the C.T scan that I had a month or so ago. I don't think I will be able to handle any more bad news. I could use his calming kitty influence today.