We've known it was coming. Hallie was nineteen, and all skin and bones, and last week we found out she had lymphoma, and I had a panic attack when I realized that I would have to do this with only a handful of pictures, because she was a diva who hated having her picture taken.
She was my mother-in-law's cat first, a comfort animal, adopted not long after my father-in-law passed. Then she was my husband's pet: my husband offered to cat-sit when my mother-in-law went on a two-week vacation to Germany, and Hallie had been with him, and us, since. Although my husband was always her favorite, and I could never really get over it, not even after fourteen years of marriage, five addresses, two "siblings," one overly rambunctious child who absolutely adored her, and a partridge in a pear tree.
She is already missed. My kid is having a meltdown -- she is much more aware of what's happening this time, and she has sadness and anger that she can't process, because she doesn't have twenty-odd years of therapy experience, like I do. And for my husband and me, this will always be difficult. This will never not hurt.
Goodbye, Hallie. Say hi to everyone for us.