April 15, 2009:

The joys and tragedies of her little life.

Abandoned pregnant at nine months, taken in by a kind woman, my mother, who felt compassion for her, and connected with her through her unusual talkativeness. "Gabby".

Twelve years as the youngest of three, but also the most sociable, and the most demonstrative. Well loved, with only happy events, until time and age came to hunt their household.

My mother told me that when the oldest cat died, Gabby developed separation anxiety. She'd howl at the door if my mother left for lunch or shopping. She'd run to the door, more like a dog than a cat, when my mother returned.

A terrible separation: my mother's death. And the trauma of being alone in the apartment with the dead woman, we don't know how many days, before neighbors called the police.

She's been happy with me. She has mice to hunt, a big house to own, and unlimited love. She brought me killed mice daily, and at night when I went to bed she licked my nose once or twice, a good night kiss, and curled up to sleep with her head on my arm.

But now time and age have come to hunt our household, too.

Today she's emaciated, confused, exhausted. She's not strong enough to jump into bed with me. She has a little hidey hole in the kitchen, where she can sleep without fear of predators.

I'm not ready to be alone.