On Saturday morning, I unexpectedly lost one of the dearest and sweetest parts of my life - my cat Fox.
This is a pretty long post with a lot of pictures, so the rest of it is after the jump...
He was perfectly fine when I went to bed on Friday. He was only six years old and hadn't been acting any differently than normal. But I was awakened by his struggling meows as he lay on my bedroom floor, and by the time I got up and turned on the light he was gone. It seemed like a heart attack. I was shell-shocked and there is no obvious explanation.
I grew up on a farm and have seen plenty of animals die, but I have never been more utterly devastated by the loss of an animal. Fox was so special. I know everybody thinks that about their pets, but with him it's totally true. He radiated pure, blissful joy in the most transparent way.
He was the most expressive cat I've ever owned. And I never once saw him show a sign of any kind of negative emotion. I would have trusted him not to bite or scratch even with the roughest toddler. While most cats hide from strangers, Fox was always right in the middle of the action when people came over. He ran to the door meowing every time I came home, even if he was in the middle of a nap.
He was my buddy, and whenever I was home he was always glued to my side.
I didn't even want Fox originally - I went to an animal shelter with the intention of picking out one fat fluffy kitten, but Fox put on such a show in his cage that my boyfriend at the time convinced me to take him too.
It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Fox and Hootie grew up together in the apartment I've lived in for the last six years. Their names were what I used for my original etsy shop, fox&hootie.
Fox always had something to say. You could talk to him forever and he would continue to meow back.
Whenever I talked on the phone he appeared under me, meowing incessantly. He assumed I was talking to him.
He tolerated almost anything. He would let me dress him up in ridiculous costumes...
...and never complained.
In fact, he usually ended up purring.
He let me take him in to work a few times and was totally fine with hanging out in an office for 12 hours.
He split his time between making the rounds to meet everyone and being totally blissed out in the chair next to mine.
He loved pillows and squishy blankets...
...as much as I do.
He liked sleeping with his head on the pillow. Cause duh, that's what humans do.
He always involved himself in whatever I was doing.
In fact, he was always so close to me that he would often end up photobombing my blog and etsy pictures.
Sometimes to get pictures done I would have to shut him in the bathroom for a few moments just to keep him away. Otherwise there would be an orange head or a white paw in all the pictures.
Now I wish I had let him photobomb all the pictures he wanted.
Because now I could never have enough pictures of that dear sweet kitty.
Even a blurry orange tail is something I want to see and hold on to.
Though it was cut very short, Fox had a happy and exciting life. He got to visit my parent's house in Ohio, and while he was there he hunted and caught a real live mouse. Just like a real kitty!
Hootie was not quite as enthused about the whole thing.
I know some people don't think that animals feel love, it's just an expression of interest because we feed them and keep them safe.
But I know that Fox loved me. I know it. And I loved him with all my heart.
The French poet and author Anatole France said, 'Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened.' That part of my soul feels crushed.
This is one of the last pictures I took of Fox, not knowing that in less than twelve hours he would be gone forever. I wish I could kiss his little forehead one more time. Goodbye, Mr. Fox. You were the best kitty a girl could ask for, and I will love you forever.