|Chloe: Best Friend For Life.|
This is a sad story with a happy ending.
The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do was let go of my cat, Dusty. I adopted Dusty when he was so tiny that he could stand in the palm of my hand. I had to feed him kitten formula with an eyedropper. He was my baby, something tiny and small to take care of. He was also the first animal who was really and truly mine, without my parents’ supervision.
Dusty and I went through it all together–the soaring elation and the desperate lows of my twenties. He stood by me as I kicked my jerk boyfriends to the curb (they all seemed to be jerks back then), and he woke me up when my alarm clock didn’t do the job. He would sit up on my lap like a baby, and when anyone dared to say he could stand to lose a few pounds, he would tell them off with a loud meow. That cat understood English, but he would not deign to speak it.
If I ever thought about Dusty’s old age, I pictured a plump grey cat sleeping in a sunbeam, a wise kitty smile upon his face. But such was not to be. When he was only twelve–far too soon to lose him–he got very sick. Countless vets and thousands of dollars in treatment and medication could not save my best friend. And finally, I made the most painful decision of my life. I had to let him go.
Two months later, my boyfriend at the time took me to the Humane Society to pick out a cat for my birthday. He worried that it was too soon, but almost instantly I fell in love with this big grey puffball I named Merlin. Merlin had the face of a Dr. Seuss character. He was quiet and elegant, and would sit in my lap for hours upon hours, purring away.
All was well until a month later, when Merlin stopped eating.
At first I thought that he had to be eating when I was at work–he just wasn’t eating around me. But then he began to lose weight. I called my vet, thinking she would tell me he had a sore tooth or something minor.
Sadly, she told me he had advanced liver disease. She whisked him away to the animal hospital, and the next time I saw him it was to say goodbye.
It was too much. My heart felt like it had shattered into a million pieces. Was I cursed? Was every cat brought into my life doomed to die an untimely death?
In an effort to cheer me up, my vet insisted on showing me a litter of kittens available for adoption. One caught my eye immediately. She was a fluffy white thing, cute as could be, but that wasn’t what swayed me. When all the other kittens went dutifully back into their kennel, she fought to be free, clinging onto the bars like one of those Garfields with the suction cups.
This cat had spirit. This cat was full of life. I fell in love with her at first sight. But still, I was scared. What if something happened to her? I couldn’t take another tragedy.
One of my friends told me his favourite show featured a superhero named Chloe, whose power was bringing people back to life.
My Chloe has done that and more for me.
We’ve formed an unshakable bond that scares me with its strength. If I’m at home, she is always with me, and you can’t give this cat enough cuddles. She is a mischievous, affectionate, fluffy love sponge.
I can’t imagine my life without her. I once told a coworker that I was afraid of how much I love her; if something happens to Chloe, I will just fall apart. And she said something I’ll never forget.
“That’s what pets are for. You’re supposed to love them too much.”
And so it is with me and Chloe. Call me a crazy cat lady, but my animal friends have enriched my life more than any job, adventure, or opportunity ever could.
So C is for Chloe.
She would like that.