Pets are amazing people.  At my house, we are living with a cat who is advanced in age. She has a thyroid issue, and we have to monitor her kidney functions. She’s seventeen years old.  A friend recently told me that she would likely have to part with her dog very soon. It’s tough to think that we can lose them so easily. And there is no discussion of pets in which I don’t think of Mindy.

Mindy was a black cat I got when I was twelve. She was the daughter of a beautiful Siamese a family friend owned and some stray tom. She was solid black. Although they disappear in my recollection, when I think back, I can recall the list of personality traits that made everyone love her – even if they wanted to scream at her. She had her mother’s voice, and she would use it even in the wee hours of the night. Her hairball production rate was legendary. Her food of choice was beef Tender Vittles. Only beef Tender Vittles.  She would find some way to get between you and whatever you were doing: reading, watching TV, sleeping. She shed like a sheepdog in the summer, yet inexplicably hers was year-round. She was the most advanced hall-racer I’ve ever known; she would jump and push off the wall from three feet up, and race down our hallway, sliding on either the linoleum of the kitchen, or the hardwood of the front room.

She had a way of knowing when I was upset. When I lived alone, and I was torn up over some girl, she would softly touch my leg with one paw to make sure I was okay. When my Dad made her get declawed (I was about fourteen), her bandaged paws started bleeding in the night, and I freaked. When she walked across the floor, I could barely slip my foot and she’d launch a foot in the air, straight up. She didn’t purr that loudly, but when she was close to me, anyone could hear.

In 1995, she started being very distant. Slept a lot, didn’t eat as much. Eventually she didn’t even touch her water bowl, and kept her eyes closed most of the time. We took her to an emergency vet, were told that her kidneys had given out, and there was only one thing we could do. I watched as the vet slipped a thin needle into her haunch, and I held her as she slipped away.

(Please excuse the way this is written.  If you really know me, you know why.)

I don’t talk much about Mindy, since she’s been gone so long. But I still think of her. As often as I do my parents. And I miss her. A lot. Pet, child, friend, family – for several years she was all I had. And I would give anything to hold her once again.