My kitty, Ender, came into my arms and my heart over ten years ago, but today was our goodbye.
I fondly recall Denice entering my apartment announcing, “There’s a kitten under the stairs.” Being animal lovers, we immediately went to him. The gorgeous orange and white long-haired boy was huddled under the outside stairs of my apartment building. He was hungry, frightened. But he instinctively knew we were there to help him. He allowed me to scoop him up without complaint. Once back in the apartment, I put a bowl of food down for him. He dove into it happily.
He spent that first night curled up on my pillow purring and nuzzling me. He seemed to know he’d found someone to love him. He kept me up much of the night, but I couldn’t complain. I had planned to find him a home, but he wasn’t having that. He chose me and wouldn’t stand for anything else. Every time a person who was interested in adopting him would come over, he would hide. Eventually I got the hint that he was staying for good.
He was a truly loving and joyous companion to me. He was so shy and tended to take shelter under the bed when others would come over to visit. But with me he was utterly affectionate. He would purr to comfort me when I was in pain. He’d rest beside me when I’d meditate. He had the sweetest meow used to voice both his demands and his happiness. Because he was there, I had a friend. I wasn’t alone. He just wanted to love me and my other kitty, Phoebe.
There was an incident many years back where he managed to escape when I was trying to take him to the vet. He was gone for 11 days. I kept a window open for him so he could come inside if he found his way home. I’d about given up ever seeing him again. I almost closed the window before I left for overnight, but something made me leave it open. The next morning I felt compelled to drop by my apartment. He’d come back to me. I remember my utter joy as I walked down the stairs and heard him calling to me. We were both thrilled to see each other again.
I give thanks for every meow, love bite, and head butt from Ender. I was grateful every time he met me at the door when I’d return from work. It felt so nice to know that this lovely being was happy to have me home, and that he’d missed me.
It broke my heart to see him fade. Animals are so innocent. They are the purest expression of love. It doesn’t seem fair that they should ever feel pain. It doesn’t feel right that those who love them the most must often make the decision to end their lives in order to stop their suffering. Unfortunately that becomes part of our responsibility as their caretakers.
I am so grateful for all of the support from my friends and family. They truly understand what it is like to lose a furry loved one. My tears have been met with great empathy. They have helped me stay strong while making a very painful decision.
There is a saying that part of what makes life so precious is that it ends. The time with our pets is far too short. Maybe that is because they are a bit too beautiful for this earth and are meant for a more loving place.
I’m very glad that Phoebe is still with me. I know we’ll grieve together. The loss of Ender leaves a huge void in my heart. A large light of my life has gone out. While I miss him horribly, I pray he is at peace.
Bye, my baby boy. Thank you for every blessing. I love you so much.