Friday, April 14, 2006
She used to have a carefree mind of her own, and a devilish look in her eye
If you have ever been fortunate enough to have a pet that you've loved, I think you will understand this. In the past few days, it has been discovered that my cat - my companion and my friend of 15 years has pancreatic cancer. Despite trying to create diversions for myself, I pretty much can't think about anything else. I tried to come up with a Friday Baddie this afternoon, just to maybe get my mind off things for a while, but the only baddie I could think of was 'pancreatic cancer' so I'm just skipping it this week.

I am 30. My cat has been a part of my life for half of it. I honestly can't really remember a time without her. She is a better friend to me than most people I know, and I am not ready to give that up. I'm not able to give that up, but I have to. And soon, maybe very soon, I am afraid that I will have to make the hardest decision that one friend can ever make for another.

For half my life - through my awkward adolescence, through lonely years, through high school and college and growing up, and even through a lengthy serious illness of my own, my cat has always been here waiting for me. She has always come running whenever I call her name, bringing me love and devotion and companionship of a sort that you don't really see with humans. No matter where I've gone or for how long, she has always been waiting here for me.

Now when I go out, even for an hour or two, I am afraid to open the door. I think, "are you still there? Are you still waiting for me?" I panic when I can't immediately find her. I call her name, and somehow she finds the strength to answer. I find her in the end, and hold her tiny, weak body in my arms. She is still there, I feel her heart beating. Her eyes barely open, but she looks towards the direction of my voice.

I know that one day I will come home, and she will not be waiting. I will call her name, out of habit and out of love, and there won't be an answer. The thought of this scares me.

Anyone who tells you that animals don't have feelings is lying to you. So is anyone who tells you that losing a pet doesn't hurt as much as losing a person.

I'll leave y'all with my favorite photo of Farkle, my oldest friend. It has been my privilege to share so much time with her, and to be able to share just a little more.

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