Thursday, September 23, 2004

Today my wife and I have a heavy heart. Renee, our beloved cat of sixteen years, left us last night. We had to make the call and put her down. I've been fortunate enough thus far to have not experienced the sudden loss of someone I was close to in fourteen years. And that day was yesterday, fourteen years ago, same as the day Renee was put to sleep.

I first met Renee as a ten year old, when she crawled through my wife's childhood bedroom window and curled up under my arm one hot summer's night in Rochester, NY in 1998. She was born in the closet in that very same room when my wife was 13 or 14. We decided to take her out with us to California that summer of '98 and she had probably spent about half of that time since either on my chest, giving me head butts on my chin, or under my arm. On Sunday mornings it was almost like clockwork: I'd open the newspaper and here would come Renee, poking her nose right under the paper as if to say "the news of the world is not important right now. Remember me?" And that is how I feel today. The news of the world, beheadings, more dead soldiers, more lies from Bush and a refusal to accept facts by blanketly saying "they're guessing," none of that matters to me right now as much as the memory of our cat.

And I am trying to drown out the sadness of events during the past couple of days and summon my memory of head butts, purrs, good night's sleeps with Renee under my arm on one side, and my wife curled up next to me on the other. On any given night during these past few months, she would be there as I watched the Oakland A's fall, rise, and seem to fall again. I was hoping for another season of football to share with the best cat in the world by my side. But we knew this day would come eventually. Still, some may say "who cares, it's only a cat," but the hell with all of that. I am feeling what I am feeling, a huge emptiness that was not there two days ago.

To all who may be reading, please raise a glass for Renee, the best cat in the world!

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