I knew it would be the last night she would be there, lying on the dog bed. Four glasses of wine couldn’t help me forget that she was still there. She was outside for just one more night.
We went to bed and Ryan asked if I was okay and I cried until I couldn’t breathe. It was the first time I could literally not catch my breath in my life, my chest hurt and my heart broke in two as I sat on the edge of the bed.
“I’m having a panic attack, it’s really bad.”
He held my hand as I breathed and when it was normal again I got up, apologizing for being a crazy cat lady, apologizing over and over. He said I’m not crazy but I’m not so sure. I think that night I was a bit off.
I put on sweaters and a warm hat, long socks and a hoodie. I took my pillow and some blankets and went outside into the night. It was chilly and a bit windy. I was greeted by the sight of my cat lying on a spot of her own pee on the dog bed. I lay down a safe distance away and she purred.
We did “cat cave” at one point, it’s where I lift the blankets and she goes in and looks around like a cave explorer. It was our bedtime tradition. Earlier that day I made her high-five me for a treat, like in this video that I can’t bear to watch right now.
I cried and we snuggled a bit, but she preferred the dog bed to lying by my side. I fell asleep.
When the sun started to come up I felt a bit more at peace and I also felt raw. She was lying a few feet away, maybe asleep, maybe just resting her eyes. I heard the neighbor walking his dog and lay still, hoping they didn’t notice the crazy lady with puffy eyes lying on the porch.
Yeti turned to look at me and a mosquito was biting her eye. She squinted but did nothing to stop it and I knew it was her final day with us. We watched the sun rise together.