She was a small gray tabbie kitten that my son picked out of a box of kittens twenty years ago. She spent the first part of her life journey living with him, but as he was young and his living environment ever-changing she came to live with me permanently some eighteen years ago or so. She had the largest owly eyes - always looking both inquisitive and wise at the same time and she always had a sweet look on her face. She was small in stature both in length and height and was a tentative, unobtrusive and even sometimes a scaredy kitty. She loved the humans most close to her.....but she never, never, ever liked other cats.

When she was young she would race across the yard and climb up my maple tree and then have the look of wondering why she had done that as she as quickly climbed back down. She had her favorite place along the back fence that she had dug just enough of a hole under so she could have access to the neighbors back yard too - expanding her territory.

She had been a member of our family for six years when I married my now husband and she quickly wrapped him around her little paws. As she became the old "grand dame" of the house they adopted their rituals that only they did together. She would greet him when he came home - especially when he came home for lunch as she quickly learned that he would share. She sought him out to put her to bed at night - even if she had to get up to come and get him to tuck her in. On Sunday mornings, and only Sunday mornings, she would sit outside a storage closet and demand that he come and allow her admittance so she could curl up on her favorite soft sided suitcase. And of course, there was the cupboard where the treats were stored that she would sit at and beg him for.

So after a twenty year journey we lost her yesterday. While we knew she wouldn't last so very much longer......her passing was not expected, but the hole she leaves clearly is evident.

I know that when we first acquire a pet there is little or no thought given to the end of the journey, just experiencing the joy of having this companion that loves and welcomes us in such an unconditional way is enough. But since the lifespan of pets is clearly shorter than their human masters it is inevitable that we will outlive our pets and have to come to grips with their passing.

My love affair with cats began when I was a child as my parents always had Siamese cats in our lives while I was growing up which I loved. I learned at an early age that pets are a valuable part of life. They bring such companionship, playful amusement, loyalty and love into our lives that a home without a pet seems not as warm and inviting to me after being a pet owner for much of my life. So, she was not my first, nor will she be my last pet, but like each of the others she will be lovingly remembered for the unique way she and only she enriched my life. I am so very grateful for these soul companions and familiars that willingly assist us on our journey and teach us each and every day by their tireless love and devotion. With loving memory of Misha........

In peace.................Margie