Saying Goodbye to my Life Partner

The end is coming soon. Mouse, my BFF, is 14 years old. The vet told me she has a mass on her heart, and there is nothing they can do. I just have to try to keep her comfortable.

Mouse arrived on my doorstep in 2007. It was a turbulent time in our life. My husband and I had just divorced months before, and the whole family was struggling to adjust to our new life.

A tiny baby kitten, The Mouse* simply, “arrived.” There was no indication how she got there, or where her mother was, or any clues about who she was. My son, who was 11 at the time said, “Mouse is a gift from God.”

Of course, we took her in and fed her. We noticed she walked with a limp. She did not have use of one of her hind legs. The vet said she had nerve damage and that he could amputate her leg, but he recommended we wait and see what happens as she grows.

Mouse grew healthy and strong as a young cat. Yet, she walked with a limp, and therefore could be labeled, “disabled.” But her disability never got in her way. She would jump 6-ft fences, and run around the house oblivious that she had a physical handicap.

Somewhere along the way, I realized Mouse and I shared that in common. I, too, had a lifelong disability, but it didn’t prevent me from enjoying my life and pursuing the fun things I wanted to do.

Mouse and I have been on a long journey together. She has been at my side moving from NJ to Texas; seeing my kids graduate high school; moving from Texas to Florida; seeing the kids graduate college; moving from Florida to South Dakota. She’s comforted me through many difficult transitions.

She has really been the only sentient being that has been anchored in my life. Always present; always loyal. Never asking too much and giving her love freely.

As her small spirit travels back to where it miraculously came from, I will miss her dearly and continue to be grateful for her loving presence all these years.

Sweet , amazing, very best friend. Thank you for a life well-lived.

*My daughter Amie, who nursed her as a baby, named her formally, “The Mouse.”

Update: I found this photo when she first arrived. It’s dated July 13, 2006. That means she is 15, not 14. It also means she arrived weeks after the divorce. A gift, indeed.

Sweet baby.

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