My sweet snuggle bunny, Mimi, came into my life 11 years ago. It was only a matter of months before I couldn't remember what life was like before her.
On Friday afternoon, my nightmare came true: Mimi let us know that she was ready to go, and we had to say goodbye to her. That was - surprisingly - the easier part because it was a blessing that we could give her one final gift of love: the gift of peace.
Coming home without her, though, ripped a hole in my heart. The sudden quietness of our apartment is deafening. Her absence is profound; we didn't truly understand how much she was a part of our everyday routines until she no longer was.
There is no meowing when I put ice in my morning water.
No begging to share my milk during breakfast.
There are no longer two eyes peering into the bathroom, waiting for me to get out of the shower.
There is no keeping my spot on the couch warm while I'm at work.
The "welcome home from work" reception is less enthusiastic when there's no flopping in delight at my feet.
This is no longer the scene as I change into my PJs.
Burning the midnight oil is lonelier.
Vacuuming is not nearly as entertaining.
There's no longer competition to sit in my chair.
Or lie in the bed.
My fellow TV buddy is gone.
As is my reading buddy.
And also my "thunder buddy," who was always ready to lend a comforting paw and purr.
Nearly every aspect of my daily life at home is scarred by her absence.
Mimi could have lived another 17 years, and it still wouldn't have been enough time with her. I'd always want to enjoy one more snuggle, hear one more meow, feel the vibration of one more purr. I'm so grateful for the ones I got to share with her for the last third of my life. She brought such joy to us. Her paw prints are forever on my heart.