Whiskers, you died in your sleep at the age of sixteen, well into the cat-year eighties. You were so playful, vocal, and alive the last time I saw you in July that it's hard for me to imagine that now your body is empty and under the earth in my parent's backyard. I'm so sorry I didn't get another chance to see you before you had to go.
I don't remember choosing you out of a litter of your brothers and sisters when I was eight and James was four, but we did. And I'm so glad we did. I do remember you meowed mournfully by yourself in the cat carrier until Leia, the other kitten we adopted, joined you. You always liked company, and you were great company.
You were also handsome, with big yellow eyes and soft fluffy fur, and of course, long whiskers.
You were what my parents call a "lap cat"--your favorite thing to do was snuggle. You were liberal and undiscriminating with your warmth and affection.
Sometimes you'd let me win staring contests, even though you were far superior.
You weren't a scratcher or a biter. You were a cuddler.
You were an internet sensation for a bit. The internet, like us, is all about cats.
You didn't mind getting scooped up and carried around.
You liked it when we'd watch a movie, because it meant a variety of laps to choose from.
Your voice was raspy, and sometimes you squeaked instead of meowed, but you still liked to talk to us.
You loved tuna. Even here, in New York where I don't have a cat around, my first reaction is always to save the water in the tuna can to feed to you. James and I spoiled you, giving you bits of people food from the table, but you were hard not to spoil.
When I lived at my parent’s house, you would sleep on my bed at night, curled up in between my ankles, warming my feet. I didn’t mind that I’d inevitably have to get up at some point during the night and let you out of my room. I loved having you there, purring quietly.
Dad misses you. Mom misses you. James misses you. I miss you. We all love you, because you were yourself---a good cat. You are still loved.