Recently I shared some sad news on my Instagram page about the passing of my cat, Mittens. She was nearly 17 and she died peacefully of old age, so I guess in a way it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. She didn’t suffer. She lived a long happy healthy life, or at least I like to think so.
My parents brought her home when I was 3 years old and I was so excited, I couldn’t believe she was really mine. I kept asking them “Is she really mine?” She was just a little fluff ball when we got her and I boldly declared her name as “Mittens” despite the fact that she didn’t have white feet or anything that would fit that name.
We would later add 3 more cats to our feline family, but Mittens was the oldest and always the queen of the house. She decided when she wanted to be petted and fed and given attention and you didn’t have much choice but to comply. She would keep leaping up on your lap until you let her stay.
The thing about having companion animals is it’s true they don’t live as long as humans, unless you have a tortoise, and they’re death is tragic. Because they aren’t just an animal, they’re part of the family. They are a source of consistency. They will always be there for you when you get home from work or school and will give you love without conditions. The sadness that comes with losing them is worth the joy of having them. The little moments and laughs and the comfort they give are amazing. I remember how much she loved sticking her head in my empty peppermint tea mug (seems to have a catnip like effect) and the way she would always lick my brothers hair clean after he got out of the shower. She was like a momma cat with her kitten and would slap at your hand if you tried to stop her.
She was most definitely queen of the house and a beautiful cat. She was there during the biggest moments of my life: high school, graduation, going off to college, family deaths. It’s hard to reconcile that she won’t be there when I go home from school next time and I wish I could have been there on her final days. It might have made it easier to say goodbye. I’m already missing her like crazy.
She will always be my first kitty and has a special piece of my heart. It makes it easier knowing I still have 3 loving cats (and 1 very sweet dog) to hug when I get home. I truly believing sharing my heart with animals has made me a better person and I’ve learned so much from them. My compassion and my passion has been shaped by my loving animal family and for that I owe them all the thanks in the world.
Love you Mittens ❤