I’m meant to be posting a short story today, but 2022 – awful year that it’s been – had other plans for me, it seems. And 2022 – the worst year I think I’ve ever had – will just have to settle for eleven short stories. And this will be my last post of the year, because right now, I don’t have anything left in me. But also because Gatsby deserves this last reflection, this moment just for him.
Last night, we came home from dinner and found Gatsby on the bed. It looked like he’d fallen asleep and just not woken up. He looked peaceful and cozy. It was the best way I can I think of for him to go, comfy and safe in one of his very favorite spots, but I feel broken, and sad, and empty, and lost, because he’s gone.
I knew this day would come. Gatsby was an old man – sixteen, and a Maine Coon. I’ve been dreading it for the last couple of years, as he’d gotten sick and then better, and as we’d learned about some health issues that likely couldn’t be fixed. But you’re never ready, even when you know it’s inevitable, to say goodbye.
But today, I have to.
Gatsby was the world’s most wonderful cat. That tiny little kitten grew into a big, purring, fluffy sweetheart.
He was sweet, and loving, and floppy, and in his younger days, really playful. He loved watching birds through the window, and lately on TV, too, and he loved to snuggle up with us at night. He loved Graham, and me, and he loved us so well that his absence today feels acute and awful. But that doesn’t change that he lived a long happy life, and that he loved us, and that we loved him.
I will love him every day for the rest of my life. I never want to forget his meow, the way he purred, the softness of his fur, the glow in his golden eyes, his big rabbit back feet, and the way he’d latch on to me with one claw when he didn’t want me to leave. I never want to forget him.
My sweetest boy: You’ll always be in my heart.
2022 really has been a terrible year for us, and to have it end this way is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. At this point, I’m honestly afraid of what comes next. I am so tired of being sad. But I hope 2023 is better, and brighter, and full of the kind of love Gatsby showed us every day.
Spring, 2006 – December 29, 2022