Tuesday was a day I’d be dreading for a long time. It began not as I’d planned. My tabby cat who was 22 years and 2 months old (yes, you read that right), showed signs that his journey was coming to end. Up to a few weeks ago, you would never have believed he was that old. I often thought he’d make it to 23.
However, Tuesday morning, his body language told me I had to make the decision all pet parents hate. I decided to use an at home vet service because Flynn had always hated the cat carrier and the vet’s office. The vet couldn’t stop by until mid afternoon which gave Flynn and I a chance to spend his last hours together. No writing, no reading e-mails, no checking in with students. This was our time.
He visited all of his previous favorite spots around the house. One that brought tears to my eyes was when he’d somehow managed to climb up via a box and table to sit on the couch. Not just any spot, but the place where he’d always been by my side as I wrote.
The majority of my books were written with him by my side, sometimes with his paws on my forearms as my fingers traveled across the keys.
He was with me the day I set out as a freelance writer. Often having to listen to me rant about why a publication had passed on my pitch, or who was this crazy editor who cut all the best parts out of my article.
He was there by my side when I got my first contract. When I self published my first book, taught my first class, coached my first student. He lived with my through two whole decades of my life.
When the time came to say our final goodbye, it was so fitting that he passed away peacefully on my lap as I sat on the chair that had been a favorite for both of us.
It’s Wednesday afternoon as I write this post. You’ve probably guessed I’m having a tough time because my daily routine centered around him. Feed Flynn, make my cup of tea, sit down and read e-mails, and then get to work.
Today’s also been one of being grateful that this wonderful animal could be part of my life for so long. I know many pet parents aren’t that lucky. There have been moments of crying, times when I think I can hear him still walking around the house, and even a meow perhaps.
Lots of animals are looking for homes and if you ever get the opportunity to find yourself a Flynn, don’t hesitate to bring one into your heart and home.
Who knows that dog or cat (or whatever), could be the writing companion who helps you write a book.