Mar 1996 – Oct. 18 2008
This weekend, my little Ashes passed away. She was our little grey blob of a housecat, she came into our home when I was in 5th grade. She brought happiness and unreserved love into a household that sorely needed it. When, at times, it seemed like there was no one for you, there was Ashes, for each one of us. It’s difficult for me to talk about Ashes like this… My mind wanders from the happy times and the bad, from the many funny, annoying, happy, lazy, exciting times we had together. In the end of the summer, she began to limp. After taking her to the vet, she fell ill. By the time the leaves changed colors, she was gone.
I never understood why people hated cats. I could never understand the aloof, timid, or scary cat that people spoke about. Of course, Ashes has many times when she would do her own thing. But being with her, you understood her life revolved around the world of our family. Sometimes, I think, it was her main goal in life to lay as closely as possible to you because it would make her so incredibly content. I cried sometimes, to think that there was a little being that loved me so honestly and whole-heartedly, that just sitting next to her made her so happy.
She was so trusting of us… Sometimes to her own downfall. When we were both younger, she once climbed a tall pine tree all the way to the top. I came outside to look for her, and when I called out her name, she replied by meowing pitifully from the branches of the tree. I went underneath and looked up and, unthinkingly, held my arms out and called out her name again. Poor kitty! Looking down, I guess she saw that I was offering to catch her, so she finally let go. To me from the ground, she looked like a rocketing flurry of claws and fur! I stepped aside, afraid for my own skin, and she fell splat (on all fours, as they do)!! I felt really bad for panicking like that, but I had not expected her to actually let go, since most cats don’t trust anyone to take them out of trees. But she did, and I’ve always felt guilty for not catching her when she fell. Thankfully though, she was somehow fine from the incident (thank goodness for the toughness of younger cats)!
I’m sorry I’ve made this so sad and mushy. Truth is, I think we all were surprised at how much she affected our lives. To have a little diligent kitty who always waited at the door when you came home to greet you (and beg for food too!), and then to come home to an empty house hurts. To think that she’ll never meow her pleas to sleep in your bed, never curl up in her favorite spot under the tree this Christmas, never look out the window to watch the birds again hurts. To see the very shadows of our home, and to think she wouldn’t be in them ever again hurts. It pained me to see her life and her joys slowly move out as she got more and more sick… I am admittedly relieved that she doesn’t need to suffer any more. But I hope deeply that even in the end she remembered the happy times she had with us and the joy she brought to us. I hope you’ve found whatever it was that was under the stove you wanted, I hope you catch that laser beam dot you could never get your nimble paws on, and I hope there are no vacuum cleaners where you are. You will not be forgotten by any of us, our little Ashes.