I was doing a little spring cleaning today and came across an old photo album of my cats. There were several beautiful photos of Simi, my half-Himalayan cat who I had to have put to sleep a couple of weeks ago after she came down suddenly with a severe neurological deficit (probably due to an undetected brain tumor).
I cried for days during and after the decision to have her put to sleep, and just seeing the photos made me start crying all over again. I didn't cry this much when my father died three years ago.
Why is it that losing a pet makes us so sad? Simi lived fifteen years and had a good life. That's pretty long life for a cat, after all. But I can't stop feeling heart-broken about losing her.
Maybe it's because she needed me. I was responsible for feeding her, cleaning up after her, giving her love and attention. She rewarded me with unmatched devotion, responding with a head butt or a soft mew when I spoke to her. She took obvious delight when I stroked her fur or scratched behind her ears. And I'm told that every morning when I left for work, she walked around the house meowing for me, her voice plaintive as she realized I was gone for another eight hours.
I miss her.