Friday, February 29, 2008

Missing Riley

On February 17, Jenn and I said goodbye to our beloved cat Riley. He had just turned five years old. He’d lost his appetite in December, and the vet found he was constipated and gave him an enema. By the new year he had lots of energy and was eating heartily, as usual. We thought he was on the mend, until he gradually stopped eating again.

I miss him a lot, especially when I come home from work and he’s not at the door to greet me, or to slip out the door and head downstairs to the laundry room. He would usually stop and look around to make sure I was following him, and he didn’t make a fuss when I scooped him up and brought him back inside.

I miss the way he would stick out his tongue when he was feeling content, or let his jaw hang down and make a lion face when he was feeling mischievous. I miss seeing him watch the fireflies in the yard during warm weather, or the special noise he would make when he saw grackles outside. I miss the way he would try to steal bits of salmon or oatmeal raisin cookie (he didn’t like chocolate chip), or would chew through the aluminum foil to get to the warm nan when I brought home takeout from an Indian restaurant. I miss the way he would warm his head under the green glass shade of the lamp on Jenn’s desk, or use her wrist rest as a pillow.

There are reminders of him everywhere in the apartment, and although it hurts a little to see them, it would hurt more (I think) to make them disappear. There are the foam rubber balls with his tooth marks in them, the bed next to the bookcases in the dining area (next to the cardboard pad where he would exercise his claws). You can see his nose prints on the window glass, and my polo shirts all have little holes in them where he used to knead my chest.

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