Today’s blog post is being written with a whole ton of sadness, because we had to put my cat to sleep this morning. For those who don’t know, his name was Kirby, and he was the best cat ever. No lie. I got him in kindergarten and he tolerated me for EIGHTEEN AND A HALF YEARS. So I mean, he was old, and it’s not any kind of shock, really. It was getting to the point where I said bye to him every time I left my parent’s house, because you never know.
The expectation doesn’t do a whole lot to ease the heart, unfortunately, and I’ve spent all day reliving who he’s been to me over the course of my life (which only results in tears 50% of the time or so). As my mom and I were breaking down together on the phone this morning, one of the things that she said really resonated with me. She said that Kirby was the best example she’s ever seen of unconditional love. She’s really right. And while a lot of pets possess that unconditional love quality, I agree completely that Kirby was the epitome of it. He let me grab him by the waist and dangle him around everywhere I went he was six… He only bit me when I deserved it… and he slept with me almost every night that I lived in that house.
Mom talked about how he would have a place that he routinely hung out when I was in Knoxville. He would rotate, you know… sometimes he’d hang out on the deck, sometimes it would be on the top of the couch, sometimes on our air vents (usually in the winter – I don’t blame him… I was probably next to him, actually), but when I would come home for a weekend, he would move instantly to my bedroom. And for several days after I had left, he would stay on my bed waiting for me to come back in before he moved on to a new location.
And I don’t think he ever stopped purring. Even if you were picking him up to throw him across the room because he was being obnoxiously needy, he’d be purring because you were touching him. And speaking of being obnoxiously needy, his favorite time to come visit was when you were in the bathroom, because he knew from years of experience that you were there, and for at least a few minutes, you didn’t’ really have anything better to do than pet him. I think Paul might have even written a college entrance essay about that. It was pretty weird.
Anyway, I’m going to wrap this up… because I could go on for pages about how important Kirby has been to me – from the day mom brought him home as a surprise to the last time I saw him two days ago. I don't know if all cats go to heaven... but Heather Berger and C.S. Lewis think so, so I"ll accept that. All I really hope that he knew that I loved him as much as I knew he loved me.
I didn’t take this picture today… obviously. But this blog is just begging for a picture of him (shown here - in his completely tolerant state - with Adam, who "didn't like Kirby because of 'allergies'," but secretly loved him), so… in memory of an irreplaceable family member: