We both knew that from the moment your icky paws touched our house’s floor, we would not get along. Ever. I’ve hated cats since that day a stray scratched my 4-year old face, leaving me with scars and a split eyebrow. I told you that. I remember “briefing” you at age 9 when you came inside that plastic indigo picnic basket, warning you to never come close to me, lest you’d want to be ground up into siopao meat, or have your skin deep-fried into chicharon.
Well, I thought you had really pretty green eyes. But you purred your way into my home—our home—as if you were the regal queen and we were all your slaves. You hissed and scratched and bit. You would leave your food untouched, and get violent whenever someone cleaned it up.
There were moments when you would catch me by surprise as I was working on my thesis. Your fluffy cheek would brush against my legs, or your scaly tongue dabbed my leg, accompanied by your haunting purrs. I remember that time you scratched the back of my hand (and it bled a lot) because I accidentally stepped on your tail. But that same hand was fortunate enough to have also felt your seldom affection whenever I’d sneak in some of our dinner’s fish onto your wooden plate. I loved those little snuggles.
When Rocket became part of our family 2 years ago, you started getting frail. Both of you were vying for everyone’s affection and attention, and the both of you would get into crazy fights. Just like kids in grade school. The harmony/frienemey-ship you guys displayed was very amusing—the way you’d piss each other off by drinking from the other’s water dish, and the way you would both co-exist in the same space, as if you were hanging out and sharing secrets in a language we humans will never be able to comprehend.
I believe the both of you shared a very special connection. If you’re watching us all the way from Kitty Heaven, I bet you’ve seen Rocket sniff around the house, trying to find you. We still haven’t put away your litter box—it’s still painful to move your stuff around. I opened the fridge a while ago and saw your vitamins and your unopened can of Whiskas. I hope they serve you fresh salmon and tuna wherever you are.
My heart sinks whenever I’d think it was your bushy tail that I saw in my periphery. I wonder how it’ll be like for Rocket whenever the house is empty. He misses you; I know he does. Mum won’t have to worry about you eating the dog food or drinking Rocket’s water, even though he would always drink yours. I sometimes wish I’d placed ice cubes in your water dish, too. But I didn’t know how you’d react to the cold.
I never thought I’d miss you this much, Chloe. Can’t believe that you made me cry in my room after I saw you wrapped in that old shirt, ready to be buried. I’m sorry I didn’t see you off as they laid you down in your final resting spot where flowers would soon bloom. Sixteen years is a very long time. It won’t be the same without you.
I know you’re in a better place now, girl. Seeing you breathe your last was such a beautiful and painful thing. I’m glad that you’re not suffering anymore. Maybe you’re 5 years old again, wherever you are, batting your pretty eyes and walking in that annoying way, thinking you’re such a queen (but you really are one for me). You’ll always be the best cockroach killer and Rocket’s best friend. Thank you for being part of our family for 16 years. You’ll always be in our hearts, Chloe. Watch over us, okay? I love you.
Missing your fuzzy nose,