Fare thee well, Miss Mia

This is my favorite picture of our cat Mia. For the next hour or so I’ll be able to use the present tense for her. Then I won’t.

Kidney failure. She’s been losing weight slowly for a few months, but she was overweight and her activity level was up. It was easy to believe she’d just gotten used to having food whenever she wanted it. Her littermate Dunkel has never had weight issues. Nor has Porter. Her first couple of years were rough. She has always been skittish. It’s clear she loves us very much, but she has her terms. She is the queen, after all.

Last week the weight loss accelerated and we knew something was wrong. She was drinking lots and lots of water. She went from stretching out and looking for snuggles to heading off to another room and sleeping. When she joined us it was from a distance. She crouches. Though as I write this she’s found a sunbeam and is laying down. Her brother is right next to her.

This is going to be so hard. It’s already so hard.

The vet yesterday. We woke up to a message to call. It’s never good. She hates being held and we had to sedate her to get her to the vet. A vet is coming out in an hour or so so we don’t have to do that again. She’ll be surrounded by love.

I call her “my little girl,” but Carla is her human. She really likes me, but Carla is who she follows. She slept between us every night. Many mornings I’d wake up with her on top of me. Not this morning. She was next to us. We got our skitches in.

Mia came into our lives when Carla’s dad had to move from Illinois to here so he could be close. He died at the end of July, the day after his 88th birthday. I guess her work was done.

She’s not well. She’s not in pain, but she feels sick. We’re doing the right thing. And it hurts so much. As it does.

In theory I like Fall. The thing is, it’s a time of loss for me. My dad died on September 17th. My mom on September 28th. Twenty-six years later, so there was time for September to establish its suck. Just to stick it in and twist it, my Best Man’s father — who basically turned into a surrogate father to me — died the same day as my mom. Our phone call to each other was the worst “Who’s on First?” routine ever. His mom died last week on the 29th. One of Carla’s aunt’s passed a few days ago. And now this. On the 12th Carla’s mom’s date rolls around. Maybe it can stop for a while. That would be nice.

Loss is not unique. The only thing that’s different from millions all over the world is that this is ours right now.

May the sunbeams be bright and the toy mice plentiful and have long tails. I love you little girl. And I’m going to miss your terribly. So very soon.

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