An entity writer shares a heartfelt letter to her dead cat.

People who don’t have pets may not understand the relationship one can have with an animal.

They are more than just a creature that you care for. They embody a time of your life, they are a connection to home. They have witnessed you more than any other human being.

You become so attached. They always listen to your rants and never interrupt, so when you lose them it’s more than just a physical loss. The loss of a pet is an emotional, painful and excruciating hardship that can be sometimes as strong as the loss of a human being.

So here’s a letter to my cat, and now perhaps you’ll better understand why…

Dear Black Adder,

The first day I met you, it was a humid and sticky summer day in Switzerland. There you stood in front of me hissing, displeased with what you saw.

You were an energetic cat, running around the house, jumping all over the place. I knew it was a perfect match for me, the energetic, hyper kid I was and still am.

You were black with yellow eyes with a huge brown stain in your right eye, smart and conniving so I named you Black Adder.

I was 11 when I met you, and going through the many mood swings of a lost, teenage girl. You witnessed it all, my tantrums, my happy days and everything in between.

You had a spot on the end of my bed,  but occasionally you would prefer sleeping next to my face. Thanks for shoving your hairs up my nose while I slept.

Remember the flood? I wasn’t going to abandon you. You were the last thing I grabbed from the house. I remember holding you tightly against me while trying to stay safe and alive.

You were so frightened you dug your nails into my skin, leaving a small scar on my collarbone. The scar is still there, you know, and when I see it, I think of that dreadful day, and of your face.

You once ran off for three months. I worried. I thought you were dead, yet I didn’t feel sad. I thought that being sad for the loss of a pet was superficial, because, well, you are just a cat. But I was wrong. You were more than just a damn cat.

When I left for college you sat in my suitcase, making sure I packed you. I still don’t get why you wanted to come. Mama took better care of you. I couldn’t take you my first year but come sophomore year, you were in DC with me.

I introduced you to a whole new continent. From Switzerland to my tiny apartment in DC, your world got very small and shortly after, so did mine.

My last two years of college were rough. I had no friends — well, maybe just you. I was bullied. I didn’t think it was possible to get bullied at that age, but none of that mattered because you were always there, waiting for me at home.

It was you and me chilling in my apartment while I finished my homework. One morning I woke up and you wouldn’t let me approach you. Like the first day we met and you hissed at me. Luckily, Mama and Papa had moved back to the US, so I took you to their home. You slept in my bedroom, but even familiar faces couldn’t soothe you.

At this point in my life, I had lost everything — my sense of purpose, my ambition, my confidence, my so-called friends and now I was slowly losing you. I would yell at you when you wouldn’t let me near you. “What’s wrong God damn it?” I thought the world was playing one nasty game with me. I’m sorry I got so angry.

We moved back home, but you still weren’t getting any better. Now you didn’t want to eat. I would tell you that you weren’t allowed to die on me.

One morning Mama took you to the vet. I had had a late shift the night before, so I didn’t go. She came back empty-handed.

You were dying. You were dying, and there was nothing we could do about it. You were in pain, in terrible, physical pain. Was it my fault?

When Mama told me the news I was in bed, groggy, but I didn’t cry. The year had been such a bad year that I felt numb to life. It seemed only fitting that the one thing that made me happy was being ripped away from me. I thought I was cursed.

The vet told us there was nothing to do. Your little heart was being crushed by the muscles surrounding it. The only way to keep you from suffering was to put you down. Your heart was being crushed, I thought, it’s all my fault. I never gave you enough love and because of it you were dying.

So one dreadful morning I went to the vet with Mama. I took a second to get out of the car, still feeling numb. We walked into the room, where you were sedated and seemed calm. You were so precious and cute, just lying there looking up at me.

I petted you as you were slowly drifting out. I laid my face next to yours as you used to do with me when I was upset. Right there I felt your last tiny, little breath on my face.

When I got to the car all hell let loose. I couldn’t stop crying. I could not stop crying. I cried so much my eyes were swollen and sore. My chest felt congested, and I felt the pressure of something crushing me.

You see, Black Adder, I always tried to hold in my emotions. I hid them from the world, and everyone I knew, because I was once told that showing feelings was a sign of weakness. But that day, I couldn’t stop crying.

To me, you weren’t just a cat. No, you were much more. When you died, it felt as though my entire childhood had been taken away from me. All I had left now of my childhood were the memories, but you had embodied it all. You were still my link to home and to happy times, so when you died, I lost my home.

My point is, Black Adder, I wished I had shown you more love. And I wish I could hug you one more time.

Good bye, little dude.

You are tremendously missed.

Edited by Kayla Caldwell

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