We said goodbye to our sweet kitty, Mirabelle, yesterday. To say that it was traumatic and devastating barely scratches the surface. But. The details of her death are far less important than the 5 years I spent with her. I want to capture some of those memories here.
I found Mirabelle at a shelter in North Carolina. She was 10 years old and had already been returned twice. As soon as I met her, I knew she was meant to be part of my family (which at that point was just myself and my other cat, Cookie).
As we got to know each other, I learned that she was as sweet as she was pretty. Gentle and sometimes goofy.
You knew she was happy when she stuck out her tongue at you. This usually occurred when one of the following things was happening:
Belly scratches. (This is one of my favorite pictures of her-she had just spent a month with Matt all to herself before Cookie and I moved to Kansas. I think that may have been her favorite month ever. And, yes, I’m jealous Matt got to spend it with her!)
Matt fed her ice cream. Or I fed her my remaining cereal milk. Or when she was stealing tortilla chips out of the Don Pablo’s takeout bag.
She discovered the outdoors when we moved to Kansas, and Matt had the brilliant idea to let her outside. Prior to our house in Kansas, I had always lived in apartment buildings and had no interest in letting either kitty outside. Matt had other plans, and I’m so glad he did. Because this girl LOVED being outside.
She also had to inspect every box that came through our house. When wedding gifts were arriving this past winter, she was a VERY busy cat. Please note the box she’s lounging in in the photo is the box the cat tree I purchased came in. She never once used the cat tree. Figures.
She always greeted me at the door. Living in places far away from family and friends, this made her a sight for sore eyes most days.
She forced me to learn the skill of “burritoing” a cat to give her medication. I lived alone and had no one to help me hold her when she needed medicine. And in true cat form, she was less than cooperative when it came to anything being forced down her throat. I’m sure with foster kittens who need medicine, this skill will come in handy!
Catnip mouse hunting. I don’t have a picture of it because Mirabelle was quite the elusive huntress. She was always “catching” catnip mice around our house and leaving them at the foot of our bed as we slept. We would often hear her at night during her hunting-she made the most hilarious guttural kitty hunting cry sounds. Those moments of laughing are some of my favorite memories of her. Hearing her forget she was an old lady cat and just hunting to her heart’s content.
Mirabelle, thank you for being a part of our lives for the past 5 years. You taught Matt that “not all cats are evil.” You comforted me when I was lonely and sad. You always managed to bring a smile to our faces with your joy and curiosity for life. I can’t imagine not having you as a part of our family. We miss you terribly. I hope you never spent a day in our house when you did not feel loved. Because, Fluffybutt, trust me. You were loved.