I knew this was probably coming soon, but I’d hoped to stave it off for a bit longer somehow. But, I did not succeed. So, this morning, my sixteen-year-old cat, Chloe, died, essentially of old age.
She had a long and good life. Her first mom adopted her as a kitten and loved her until she herself died of old age. Her mom’s daughter called a friend, and the friend called a few other people, of which I was one, and I got to adopt Chloe when she was a charming, well-loved princess of 8 years old.
I’ve always loved Himalayans. They are among the most glamorous of cats, I think. But a lot of people don’t realize how utterly sweet they usually are. Chloe was a flame-point, or red-point, Himalayan, which means her ears, tail, face and paws were the color of ripe peach, while the rest of her luxuriant coat was the color of cream. Naturally, this coloration led to many nicknames: “Peaches & Cream,” “Peach Pie,” and even “Creamsicle.” No matter what I called her, Chloe was a cat who actually knew her name and came when I called her, confident and secure in the knowledge that she would be greeted with affection, which of course she always was.
She was the official greeter in my house. My dog was abused and abandoned by his first owners, so he is shy and cautious with strangers until he gets to know them, so it’s Chloe who would be the first out of the gate to say hello to people who visited. In fact, Foxy learned to watch what kind of treatment people gave Chloe to help him determine whether or not to make friends with a new person himself.
Foxy and Chloe were good friends. They always had a bit of a dog/cat language barrier, which was often comical, but they overcame that and were able to call each other and converse lovingly in their later years. Usually, when I came home from work, I would find them snuggled up on my bed. Jett was usually with them as well. Jett is another “cast-off” pet, a black male Persian who just didn’t quite meld with his first household. Chloe gave him what-for when he first arrived, to establish her feline primacy, but after a few days, relented and began to mother him. Jett was instantly transported with devotion for Chloe, and ever after, he completely gave up washing his own face.
She was my girl, my love, my snuggle bunny. You can’t explain to someone who hasn’t had the experience of having a cat softly cuddled up to you, purring contentedly, how completely wonderful and lovely it is. It’s a real thing that researchers have found that the experience lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, and promotes the circulation of endorphins. Not a big surprise that cats, especially Himalayans, are often taken to nursing homes as therapy pets. If you get it, you’ll understand how I feel today. I’m heart-broken and I will miss Chloe horribly. I will miss her raspy little voice and the way she would talk to me for several minutes when she was so moved. I will miss her best trick, which she came with, which was to sit up on her haunches, put her front paws together and wave them up and down three times when she wanted something. I will miss her asking me to make a little tent with the bed covers so she could tuck herself against my chest for a while at night. But I’m so glad she was in my life these past 8 years to favor me with her blessing.
So, thank you, my little Peachfuzz. I won’t forget you.
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