Lucy, March 2008 – September 2018

Dear Lucy: I remember the first time we met. I wasn’t looking for a pet and in fact am to this
day allergic to cats. My mom found you, a stray living near a garage and subsisting on pizza
crusts and scraps of garbage. You were tiny little thing, no more than 5 pounds soaking wet.
Your fur was matted and bloody, with big patches missing all of your body and especially on
your back. You had scratched off your fur from a flea infestation and had infected cuts all over
your body. They said you were too broken to be saved, that it would be too expensive and too
difficult to bring you back. But you were a scrappy little thing. A real fighter. My mom had
been telling me about you on the phone for about a week. She had taken you in with her other
pets but would not be able to commit to another. You were in the basement bathroom when I
came over that day, hiding in a cabinet under the sink in the dark. I slowly opened the
cupboard and found these two big blue eyes looking back up at me. With the smallest, quietest
mew, it was love at first sight. You came home with me the next day with your blanket and
medications, a new litter box, food and water bowls, and a cardboard carrier. I set you up in an
extra bedroom, applied your ointments and sat on the floor. I put a baby’s onesie on you to
keep you from scratching your wounds. This little white, tiny baby tee shirt that would barely
stay on you and would be soaked in blood each day. Whenever I sat down, you’d jump in my
lap. You’d purr and purr and try to stop me from getting up. There was barely any fur on you
back then and the only place I could pet you was on a tiny spot on the top of your head. Over
time you got stronger. You gained weight. Your wounds healed. Your fur grew back full and
thick and fluffy. You were playful and energetic and really loud. You loved to talk to me. You
insisted on participating in tasks, following me around, jumping in the laundry as I folded piles
of clothes. When I moved to Seattle I knew you had to come, too. Travis flew you out on an
airplane. You went further than most kitties ever go. You lived in 7 different apartments in 2
different states with me. You hated moving; as soon as you got accustomed to a place we’d
pick up and go. I’ll never forget the day we moved from Tacoma to Seattle. I had the last batch
of stuff in my white VW, said goodbye to Travis, and got in the car with you. I had broken up
our family. I cried and cried as we drove up I-5 to our new home. In my new apartment I didn’t
have a bed yet. I slept on the floor on clothes and towels. You would come into the room and
comfort me while I cried. You didn’t judge when I drank too much, threw up, cried, or yelled.
You just sat with me, purring. When I met Sarith, you took to him immediately. He didn’t quite
know what to make of you. You became his first pet, and he became your person. You’d sleep
next to him every night, sit next to him on the couch, and follow him around the apartment.
When we came home with Zephyr, I could tell you thought it was the ultimate betrayal. But
you were a champ; you claimed and defended your territory, and eventually you would lay
close to each other in front of the fireplace. If Zephyr got to close to you, you’d just swat at her
with a clawless paw to give her a warning that you meant business. You’ve always been a
sweet cat: affectionate, talkative, playful, and kind, even though you lacerated Adam-Jon that
one time. I didn’t mind that you threw up on the floor all the time; it was a small price to pay to
have you around. You loved shoelaces and boxes and bunched up paper. You didn’t need
expensive toys; you were a simple lady, but I bought them anyway. I thought we would have
you for another five years. After you initial illness you were generally a pretty healthy and
happy cat. After our last move and your last grooming appointment, I could tell something was
wrong. You stopped eating and stopped talking. You didn’t want to play and you only wanted to
sleep on your spot on the chair. We took you to the vet and learned the worst news: cancer.

We both cried and worried and vowed to do whatever we could to save you, money be
damned. We hated the night you spent at the emergency vet. I couldn’t remember a night
that I had slept at home when you weren’t there. I waited to feel you jump up on the bed and
walk across my legs, and to lay down next to Sarith and go to sleep, but you didn’t come. We
got to take you home the next day. I was so grateful because after we left you at the
emergency vet I didn’t know if I would ever see you again. Now as I write this, you are sleeping
in your chair. Your breathing is fast and heavy. I’ve counted your breaths over and over to
make sure they’re not too fast. You have an appointment with an oncologist on Tuesday, but I
don’t know if you are going to make it. I don’t want you to suffer. If we are nearing the end, I
want you to know that I am so thankful for your unconditional love, that we did everything we
could to save you, and that our hearts are breaking because we can’t help you. I want you to
know that you were and will always be part of our family. It may seem strange to people, but
as a gay man, my pets are like my kids. I’ve been responsible for you for almost ten years. I’ve
taken care of you, and worried constantly about you, and kept you safe and happy. You don’t
deserve what’s happening to you. You are the sweetest, best kitty I could have asked for. I
hope you pull through but if this is the end, then just know that I love you and will miss you and
will always remember how kind and sweet you were to me over these very difficult ten years of
my life. It’s okay if you have to go. Cross the rainbow bridge and we’ll see you again someday.