Once upon a time, on a hot Florida day, I was sitting on a curb in between clients at work when a little grey furball with the wildest green eyes glinting in the sun sat next to me, put his paws on my lap, and won my heart forever. I often tell this story and say that I found Lucius, but in truth Lucius found me. One raincolored furball changed my life. Oh I have had pets before, and I loved them dearly and always will. Kody, Muffin and Bijou will all remain in the fondest of my memories. This was different. I have loved many animals but until I met Luci, I was never loved by an animal to the extent that I am blessed to know now. I had never experienced what it was to wake up in my huge California king size bed with a kitty face smushed into my forehead with a protective paw over my collarbone. I never knew the joys of having my hair groomed/eaten off of my head at two in the morning, or having my face licked when I was tired, or purred to sleep when I was sick. I would open my eyes some days to immediately receive a gentle paw-push against my lips. I was never really a cat person, and now I can't imagine my life without one. However, first and foremost I can't imagine my life without Lucius. Three weeks ago I was told by a stranger that my best kitty friend and I can't be together anymore, and there isn't a price tag in the world that can change that. Only ever once before in my life have I felt like I had been kicked in the chest by the weight of sadness that came with the phonecall that my little boy has so many tumors in his liver that nothing in the world would save him. I hit the window, quite literally to hold myself up and comprehend what I was being told. I had prepared myself for a severe illness and a huge surgery bill. I neglected to even think of the possibility that something could take him and not even give me a choice. I have cried almost every day since then and most recently just a moment ago. And he knows, however sick he is he still knows when his mommy is sad and though he barely comes out of the little den I made for him, he will still not hesitate to jump onto my chest and purr me to sleep. We laid together in the most perfect moment on Christmas Eve, bundled up together in bed as the sun was setting, with him rubbing his little grey forehead against mine like a little lion.
I feel so many things, sadness obviously, anger even. I was given less than three years with the most amazing kittyloaf on the planet, and it isn't fair. Lucius is love put on this earth in cat form. His whole existence is about being loved by his humans and loving them back. I can't even tell you how many comments we get about how uncommonly affectionate he is. I was just sitting in my closet with him, as I have so many nights lately and even in spite of himself when he sees me sit down he begins to purr. He slowly looks up at me with those stunning green eyes as if to tell me he isn't gone yet, and then gradually lowers his head again, his little pink stomach that was shaved for all the ultrasounds gently rising and falling. I hold his paws in my hands and the tears always come without fail. I realize I should be grateful to have had him at all, and believe me I am. It is just the hardest thing to not only lose a close friend, but to know it's coming and wait for it. And it isn't just the death of pet, or even a cat I was particularly affectionate towards. It's the death of a being that I have loved more than most humans in this world, who has wordlessly understood me and laid by my side every night in ways you can rarely count on in this world. My beautiful baby who doesn't meow anymore, who doesn't climb on the refrigerator or stealth attack my other cat anymore, but can still find it in himself to jump to my side when I'm hysterically crying. So here's to you, the Baron Lucius von Müller, I will be there for you until your last moments, and I will love you for the rest of your life, and mine. You have blessed me with an understanding in life that is rare and unconditional and I tried my best to keep us together. I'm sorry it wasn't enough.
I thought this quote was appropriate:
"You fought hard to stay alive, my friend. In the end, though, you couldn't conquer death. But neither did death conquer you. Death cures all diseases, mends all broken bones, breaks all chains... and made you free at last."