Slowly but surely, he wormed his way into my heart. He would sit for hours curled on my lap, begging me to keep him safe from the boys who just wanted to love him to pieces. At night when they were calm, he would take turns sleeping on their beds, proving that there is nothing as peaceful and wonderful as a sleeping child. I am not a cat person, but Darren was so very special.
He was an outdoor cat before we brought him home, but despite our offers to let him go outside, he looked at us like we had lost our ever loving minds. He knew that he had found a good thing, and had no intention of leaving. I am going to miss the way he would greet me at the door, and I am going to miss the way he would wait until I fell asleep on the couch to jump on my chest and go to sleep. He knew that if I was awake, he would never get away with that.
He went down hill so quickly. One day he was fat and lazy, and the next he was a walking skeleton. We didn’t tell the boys that their cat was dying but they knew from our half answers that something was gravely wrong. We sent them to bed last night, sure in the knowledge that Darren only had a few more hours left, but we just didn’t have the strength to tell the children. We lay on the floor next to him, petting him, thanking him and telling him that we loved him as he took his last breathe. I never meant to love him, but my heart is absolutely broken now. I keep looking for him only to be reminded sadly that he has gone.
This morning I went into the kitchen and looked at his food and water bowl, still full from yesterday and the feeling of finality was overwhelming. I cannot bring myself to gather his things. Worse yet, I still have to tell the boys when they get home from school, that their furry friend is no longer with us. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how to tell them this and honestly, right now I don’t even have the words, because I don’t even want to admit that it’s true.
Goodbye Darren. We loved you and thank you for being our friend.