I knew it was coming, but it didn’t make it any easier to deal with. Even as I write this post, I have tears in my eyes. My dear companion, Puddles passed away early this morning. I noted, about a week ago, that I wasn’t sure how much longer she’d have with us, due to sluggish movement & intuition, but you’re still never ready.

Puddles usually sleeps in the basement, but this past week, I let her stay in the main level of the house. Last night, she came all the way upstairs to my room to go to sleep. So I knew something was up. She stayed with me all night. I actually didn’t sleep because I spent most of the night getting up, periodically, to check on her and make sure she was comfortable and warm. I also loved her up, giving her tons of kisses & telling her how much I loved her. She would purr when I fussed over her and that made me happy.

As daylight came through my windows, Puddles moved across the room, closer to me. I could tell her breathing was starting to become strenuous, along with whimpering and other sounds that weren’t normal. I cuddled her, but she seemed to be in a deep sleep & wasn’t responding. I knew it was time. Slightly before 9AM, she had stopped breathing & I said my final goodbye.

For as rough as she made our lives at times, Puddles was really my buddy. All the hours outside on the porch together. The intricately planned trips to the vet. The skunk incident. Giving her dinner every night, as well as sneaking her late night snacks. I loved that cat.

And it meant everything to me that she knew her time was coming to an end, and made a conscious decision to be close to me while it happened. My first cat, Whiskers did something similar. I was in my freshman year at college and came home for some holiday. He was old and frail like Puddles was in her final days. I spent as much time with him as possible, & before my parents took me back to the airport, I picked Whiskers up, kissed him and told him I loved him. When I landed in St. Louis, my mom told me he had passed. It was like he waited to see me and then allowed himself to let go.

After we lost Gracie a couple of years ago, I made Puddles promise me to stick around at least one more year. She nearly gave us two. I appreciate that. Although, it is heartbreaking to see Tiger stalk around my room, smell that Puddles was here, look for her, and not be able to find her. He keeps going back to the spot where Puddles took her last breath, like he knew. He’s an “only child” now.

I will miss Puddles greatly, so I’m glad I took so many pictures and videos of her. I’ll never forget her. Below are some of my favorites.