Monday, September 26, 2011

Dear Chloe:

Dear Chloe,

Thanks for all the lovely memories.  I will never forget discovering you for the first time in my parent's garage, with your two tiny siblings.  While they were meek and timid, you were ferocious!  I knew you had some spunk in you when I tried to pick you up, and you hissed and spit at me like you were capable of taking off my hand.  You were so small, and puffy, you looked like a tiny mottled cotton ball with a wisp of a tail.  It was love at first sight.
I gave you your name, Chloe, after I got to know your personality a little bit better.  It means "a thriving, green shoot" - you never stopped finding ways of getting into mischief, and you were always good for a laugh!
Our first few nights together, you cried and cried, I think because you missed your mother - I sat up with you and played with you, and you cuddled in my lap.  After that, my lap was one of the places you felt most secure.  After a long day at the office, I looked forward to those cuddles.

Being a college student on top of working full time was tough.  Late nights were lonely as I sat up working on papers, or reading.  You were always there to keep me company.  And of course, to keep an eye on my mouse!
You loved my undivided attention.  If I had other things to do, you just made sure that I didn't forget about spending time with you first.  After all, you didn't mind if I was wearing smelly clothes, so why should everyone else?

You were very good at helping me stay organized - even down to the nitty gritty:

At times life could be stressful, but you always helped me not to take myself too seriously.

I am notoriously forgetful, but you were great at helping me remember the important things.  Like feeding the dog:

When I began my courtship with Nate, it was exciting, and terrifying all at the same time.  So many life changes to think about!  I often laid awake at night, unable to sleep for all the noisy thoughts in my head.  You helped me to think outside the box with a new sleep solution.

Unfortunately for me, it didn't work out so well.  With a wedding on the way, there were so many preparations to take care of!  People to call, reservations to be made, invitations to print . . . thankfully, I could count on you to take care of that last one.

After the wedding, you graciously agreed to help me pack for the honeymoon.  With the suitcase so full, I wouldn't have been able to close it without your help!

After the wedding, you decided to start your new adventure of apartment living.  You journeyed across the state, and into a new one in the back of my car (much to your dismay, I'm afraid!).  It wasn't quite what you were accustomed to, but you adjusted fairly quickly.  We lived on the second floor, with a great big tree outside the window.  There was a very chatty squirrel that you grew rather fond of watching.

And of course, you were very protective of me.  You always kept one eye on Nate to make sure he was behaving himself.

You moved again with us, this time to the third floor.  There was no more chatty squirrel to watch, but we had a lovely view of the sky, and you could see birds again!  They would make a commotion outside, and you would sit on my piano (mussing all of my sheet music, I might add), and stick your head under the curtain, just to sneak a look at them.  If your tail began twitching, I knew you'd found something exciting to watch.  It was always confirmed by your strange chattering afterward.  Nate doesn't share my love of winter weather, but you always enjoyed a good snowfall.  You would sit with me in the living room and watch the lacy flakes fall from the clouds.
Our third move was into a house.  Finally!  A place of permanence that wouldn't require you to add "gypsy" to your pet description.  Since I knew how much you hate moving, I decided to give you a mild sedative.  I've never seen a drunk cat before, but I'm pretty sure you nailed the definition.  No one got much sleep that night.  It was also your first time meeting another addition to our family, Sadie.  At first, you weren't all that enthusiastic.

Especially given the way Sadie liked to play!  She seemed to have forgotten that just because you squeaked, it didn't mean you were one of her toys.

After a while though, you got the hang of it.  You grew more cunning, and found her weak spot - you fought back!

After that, she grew to respect you a little more.  You regained your Queen status, and if Sadie had upset you, she came over afterward to grovel.

You were very thankful for the bed we bought you.  It gave you a perch to escape to!  You felt much more comfortable letting yourself relax on it . . .

Eventually, you and Sadie became friends.  You even missed her when she was gone (even though you pretended not to care . . . ).  She made an especially warm pillow.  You always enjoyed snuggling up to her for a nice nap.

And then, the biggest change of all came into your little life.   There was a miniature human on the loose!  You weren't quite sure what to think.  She took over your "safe space" upstairs, and replaced it with a whole lot of furniture, and all the late night snuggles you used to enjoy in my lap, were replaced with sitting patiently on the carpet and watching me pace the floor long into the night.  She made more noise than you ever knew a human could make, especially one so small!  When you noticed that I was feeling weary with my new responsibilities, you would make sure I knew you were on my side.  You had a tendency to pop up in unexpected places, just to make me smile.

And even though you weren't thrilled about us bringing her home, you knew how important our newest addition was to us.  You made sure you watched over her, and let us know (by clawing up the carpet under the door, unfortunately) if anything was wrong.

You were such a good cat, Chloe.  I loved you all the time I had you.  Your intelligence always amused me, even if it sometimes got you into trouble.  Your love of sparkle balls was forever a source for my entertainment, and you knew the value of a good conversation, as evidenced by your constant chatter.  You were a good friend, and lap warmer, and I know things won't be the same without you here.  There was just something about your purring that was soothing to the soul.  I will miss witnessing you leap three feet off the floor in pursuit of your feather toy, as well as your comforting presence at the foot of my bed at night.  I hope that you are happy, and content in your new home, and that you feel like a queen once more.  I know you will bring just as much joy and mirth to your new owners as you have to my heart.  Farewell, my sweet feline friend!


  1. I'm so very sorry to hear about Chloe :( I'm sure she's still watching you from a very happy kitty heaven.

  2. Thank you, Hilda. Actually, she's just moved in with a new owner. At least it's a bit of a happier ending! Unfortunately, it just wasn't working out with my non-kitty loving husband. I'm sure she'll be happier living somewhere she can be adored by all. :)

  3. Amanda, what a beautiful post. I'm all choked up. Chloe certainly was a terrific cat, and I'm sure she will bring joy to many other's lives just as she brought to yours. Thinking of you!

  4. I'm sitting here crying reading your wonderful words and looking at these dear sweet pictures of Chloe. What a treasure and a keepsake of her. Wish you would have said something yesterday when we talked. I still miss our "Little Babe" and think of him - and it's been 3 years. She will always be in your heart!!! Love you!

  5. I'm sorry to hear that you and Chloe have stopped cohabitating. That doesn't mean she has to stop being your kitty, of course! I hope you still have visitation rights with her new household, and receive updates often. We had to send one of ours to a new home when we moved, and we made frequent internet updates and home visits a requirement. It makes things much easier. I hope you find peace in this difficult time!

  6. Amanda, you can come and visit any time you want! :) My roomie and I are loving Chloe's spunk, but I know that she misses you :)

  7. Thank you, Emily! I would love to come see her sometime, after she's all settled in. I miss her too!

  8. Sorry my mistake, you wrote such a sad story I thought she died :( I'm glad she has a new home.