We had to put down one of our cats the day before yesterday, and the house feels strange and well, stupid without him.
We were resigned to it - he's been going downhill for some time - but the stark silence where there was once a rumble purr will take some getting used to.
The other cats are unsettled and looking for him. Kate yowl and stares out the window, and won't be pacified with extra ear-rubs and attention. Lucy is digging her way through every closet in the house, keeping up a mumbled conversation, wondering where on earth her friend has gone.
The hardest part about being a pet-owner is knowing that you have to let them go. They depend on me for food and water and to help them feel better - even when the best thing you can do for them is to send them into that good night.
I knew that. I just didn't expect it to be so soon.
B and I are agreed that soon, we'll think about another cat. Maybe even a kitten this time. Just as soon as we can stop reaching up in the middle of the night to that place on my pillowcase where our ginger-furred kitty slept. But thirteen year old habits are hard to break.
*Even though this came out sad and raw (and I suppose in some ways we are) we're not all huddled in the fetal position, crying puddles. Actually, the kids and I are off to the farm market, the library and the grocery. Maybe we'll go walking in the park too. Pictures later!*