We lost a family pet this past weekend, and all of us are feeling it. Mick was one of two cats we picked from a litter when I was in eighth grade. She was 17 years old, and was put down Saturday, July 23, 2011.
I remember the day I first met Mick vividly. I had just come home from my middle school Washington D.C. trip, which was semi-traumatic for an eighth grader, because my boyfriend broke up with me and started going out with my friend the next day while we were on the trip. When I walked into the entry way of our house and put my bag down, this tiny little orange fluff ball stuck its head out from under the couch and then trotted towards me. This was not Mick, but her sister, Milo. After Milo introduced herself, the rest of the litter came out from behind the couch, including this very tiny little orange fluff ball that was smaller than the rest and had an extremely raspy meow. This was the “runt” of the litter, who we ended up naming Mick.
Milo ended up being my cat, and Mick ended up belonging to my mom’s boyfriend. They were both mine, though. I loved them equal amounts and considered them both my cats, just like every other animal we owned at the time, or had ever owned before or after. Little did I know, these cats would live over half of my lifetime and would become a very important part of our family. They have seen many birthdays, graduations, weddings, Christmas Eve dinners, babies, and wedding showers. The most recent celebration was my own wedding shower, which was Mick’s last. I had a gut feeling that it would be her final celebration, so I had my mom take a picture of us together. Two weeks later, it was her time to go.
Although both cats have always been lovable, social, and friendly, I am pretty sure I can say that Mick was the most lovable cat we’ve ever had in our family. She was very empathetic, and knew when one of our family members was sad, sick, or upset about something. Anytime someone would enter the house, she would greet them with her raspy meow. She loved snuggling. Any chance she was given, she would love to be carried or sit on anyone’s lap by anyone who would let her. She was the sweetest cat I’ve ever known.
My final goodbye to Mick was difficult. My mom’s boyfriend accidentally locked himself out of the house, so I drove over to let him in with my key. He let me know that it was Mick’s time to go, so after he left, I spent some time with her. I held her, and she purred. When I put her down, she followed me a few steps and then laid herself down next to my feet. As I squatted to pet her, she reached her paw out to touch my hand, just as she always had. I knew this was goodbye, and although it was emotionally painful, I also thought of all the wonderful memories we had and what a wonderful life she lived.
My mom’s boyfriend let me know that her time had come on Saturday morning. I was saddened, yet relieved that she wouldn’t have to suffer in her old age anymore. I am so grateful that we got to spend such a long time with Mick and that we were able to give her such a good life full of so much love. Not everyone gets to experience the life of an animal that gives so much love out to each being who comes in contact with her, and she will be dearly missed.
Rest in peace, Mick.