When I was 16 I moved out of my parents house in Indiana and across the us to Arizona with my high school sweetheart. We lived in an apartment with two male roommates for 4 months finishing out the lease then got our own place.
He took me to a no kill cat shelter and told me to pick a fur baby. We strolled around meeting lots but none stole my heart until we were hesitantly introduced to A beautiful 4 month old tabby. She had been reschsed and was terrified of people. I climbed under a table and pulled her out to see her. She was shaking, her tail between her legs, ears flat, and drew blood across my shoulders as she fled in fear. They were shocked when I said “I want her”
In the following months Jewel transformed into a sweet loveable lap cat. She would nuzzle her face into my neck, my arm, my chest and pur loudly. She became a comforting weight against my body as she snuggled into me every night for 21 years. She moved with me 12 times, across the country twice, saw the addition of another cat, and three dogs as well as that of my daughter.
The last year was hard as I watched her become smaller & less mobile. She stopped grooming herself as she took its toll on her.
On Christmas Eve my roommate texted me to see if I was still awake and my heart sank knowing something was wrong. I went in and she was laying on the bathroom floor in a puddle of pee unable to get up, seemingly unable to see anything. I wrapped her in a towel and took her to my bed tears pouring down my face. For the next two hours I snuggled her and talked to her wondering if she could even hear me or knew I was there. She took a last shaky breath and was gone.
My heart cracked and I couldn’t stop the outpouring of pain even after I woke my daughter. I wrapped her in a blanket and my roommate buried her outside my wi sow the next morning as hid in the shower and let go of the tears I had fought back all morning during gifts and breakfast.
I know Christmas will forever be shadowed by the loss of my fur baby, and though my heart will forever have a piece missing I feel so thankful to have rescued her because I needed her just as much as she needed me.