Dalton is my everything. He is my friend. He is my family. He is my cat. He is my confidant. He is my therapist. He is my everything. It’s hard to believe that we’ve been in this fight for nine years together. From the moment I saw the little fuzzball sitting in a cold, sterile cage in the quarantine room. From the moment I wrote my name on his nameplate and announced he was mine, all mine. From the moment I brought him home and learned that he was a hunter, pigeons. sparrows. mice. rats. squirrels. grasshoppers.
Dalton is aging quickly. A few months ago he’d paw at the door, ready for his nightly journey. But slowly, he’s become an old man. He goes outside once or twice a day, but never for long. He has a hard time jumping the balcony walls. He stumbles when walking across the coffee table. He’s become perfectly content sleeping on my bed during the day. Jem’s bed in the early morning. Scout’s bed late at night. The impressions his body leaves on the bed, a bit of rumpling of the comforters.
And there’s also his physical beauty. His hair isn’t as lusterous. His haunches are thinning, though he still has a good reserve of belly. The tell tale sign is the silverness in his face. Around his eyes. Slightly around his mouth.
We have to be quiet around him. And slow.
I worry about him. But I worry more for me. Whatever would I do without his presence? Without the heaviness of his body at my feet when I sleep? Without him sitting across from me and giving me kisses from around the room?
I am trying to prepare. It is difficult. I grieve and he isn’t even gone yet. But I want him to know how much I truly appreciate every hair on his body. I want him to know how very much I love him. I’ve wondered about his past life. Where did he come from? Is his mother alive? Does she miss him? What did his brothers and sisters look like? And most of all: How did I get so lucky?
Dalton, you are everything a human and a cat should be. I ♥ you.