Monday, September 24, 2018


Today is the 19th day without Ollie.

After 15-1/2 years of snuggles, playfulness, jumping on kitchen counters, drinking the milk out of cereal bowls, trying to escape every time I opened the door, comforting me when I’m sad or sick, and letting me hug her like a teddy bear under the covers at night, we said goodbye 19 days ago. She was wrapped in the fleece blanket we use every day in the study. She was clearly done, her little body couldn’t take anymore after months of trying to fight off an upper respiratory infection that made diabetes impossible to control, and even if I hadn’t taken her to the vet, she would likely have died that day anyway.

Ollie had two ways of drinking water. Her clear preference was to drink from the tap, and she would jump on the bathroom or kitchen counter and stand in the sink until I turned it on. If no running water was available, she would dip her paw into her water bowl and lick her paw...which meant changing the water frequently because there were always pieces of who knows what floating in it from her paws. No longer do I have to do that, I can just refill the bowl, because Andrew prefers to stick his entire face in (lol). Similarly, Ollie often moved food from the dish to a nearby spot of floor, where she may or may not eat it has been 19 days since I found random pieces of cat food around the house.

Even after 19 days it’s hard to remember she won’t be at the door when I go in and out. I catch myself putting all flimsy plastic out of reach as soon as it comes in the house because she always chewed it and the sound drove me crazy. For the first time in my live-alone-as-an-adult life, my food is safe on the counter or the table, because she’s not there trying to steal it while it’s still cooking or while I go get a glass of water.

I miss her.

Andrew misses her too. He will sit in the hallway and cry—he has a new distressed meow that I’ve never heard until she was gone—and look at the door, and sniff around the spots she liked to sleep....but she isn’t coming back, and every time I tell him that then I’m crying too. (Aside: Andrew is terrible when I cry. He really doesn’t like it at all and gets very agitated. He’s not the comfort-type! Lol.) He has never known a house without Ollie. His entire life has been spent being her younger brother, the beta to her alpha, sharing space and attention, keeping each other company. This is his first time living alone. Just the two of’s harder than it sounds, for both of us.

It’s amazing how these little furry creatures worm their way into our lives. And how much it hurts when they’re gone. Basically every moment I have been at home for the past 15 years has been spent with Ollie. And now there’s a gaping hole much larger than her tiny size would suggest. I don’t think “bereft” is too strong a word for how both of us are feeling just now. I could never even make my mind go to this place when they were both alive, and frankly I don’t want to be in it now, but alas...that’s what love means, right?
Andrew, right this minute...he basically hasn’t left my lap for weeks. Just the two of us now, buddy....

1 comment:

  1. Thinking of you. It's hard to lose such a sweet companion.