19 years ago, my parents let me adopt the cutest ball of fur. We had some friends who's cat had a litter of little gray furballs. I was allowed to pick one out. I went by and was quite overwhelmed at which one to choose. So, I picked each one up and looked at them. One little kitten seemed to wink at me everytime I picked him up. Both of his eyes would be open, but when i picked him up, the same eye would squint. That was him. The one I wanted.
I got Misty when I was just in middle school and he was my friend through everything. He had the independence of a cat, but the loyalty of a dog. He followed me everywhere I went. He came when I called. He climbed the corner of our two story house to get to my bedroom. He even walked on a leash. Misty was also a fighter. He was a big cat and really could hold his own in the neighborhood. Of course, he had to with a name like Misty. Long story short, there was some confusion when he was a baby and we thought "he" was a "she". So, i named him Misty. We found out his true gender upon operation to "fix" him/her. Misty turned out to be a "he". Oops.
I had Misty all through High School and left him behind when I went to college, though my parents did bring him with them to visit once in Nashville. He was always ready for me to come home. When I moved to Florida after graduating college, I came back for him and flew him to Ft. Lauderdale. When i moved to Texas, he sat in the cab with me until we arrived. He moved to my new townhome and was here for my wedding and the birth of our son. He was there through my tears and heartaches. He was there through my laughter. He was there for my success in cheerleading doing cartwheels and jumps in the backyard. And he was there through my pains of arthritis. He also always heard about my dreams and lived long enough to see them happen. Misty has been with me for 19 years, more than half of my life and has always been by my side to comfort me by curling up in my lap or trying to lick my tears.
Today, though, we parted. It is hard to say goodbye to such a loyal and loving friend. Always fighting his way to curl up at the bottom of the bed, even though the rules had changed once I got married and had a baby. I always let him have my bottom corner. Sometimes I even let him curl up beside me for some rubs before Robby came in. But Misty always was an outside cat. He grew up outside and came in at bedtime. When I moved, he was forced to be inside more of the time. In the past 5 years, Misty began losing his eyesight and losing weight. The past year his hearing really began to disappear. We knew we were taking a chance letting him be outside, but he was more miserable inside all the time. This afternoon we discovered why he didn't come in last night and didn't appear at our door this morning. My brother said that Misty was always a fighter and so it was only right for him to go out fighting. Like a warrior, it was a badge of honor. His opponent was probably just as badly wounded. I do like to think of it this way, though it would have been nicer for him to have gone in his sleep. So, we "buried" my friend today. I will put away the litterpan. I will put away the food and water bowl. I will put away the toys that were forgotten long ago. They will be there for the next stage in life. One that Rylen will most likely choose. I knew the day would come, but are we ever truly ready for it. I have feelings of sorrow and relief. Misty always tried to be energetic, but I knew he was old. I mean 19 years old in cat years is 92 human years... i looked it up and the chart only went to 20!
So, to Misty, here's a scratch behind the ear and a rub on your nose. You were paws down the best cat ever... If heaven has everything we could imagine, then you will be there waiting for me.
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