We had to let our little boy go today. Five years of living with the sweetest kitten in the world, and he became ill in the blink of an eye.

You know going into pet adoption that their little lives are shorter and more fragile than our own, but you choose to risk the grief and the pain anyway, because the unconditional love you get is so worth it. You can’t prepare for this sort of pain, though.

I remember the first time I saw Stitch. He was in the window of a vet clinic near where I worked. I was going through one of the roughest times of my life and fell instantly in love. I went in to see him, and he buried his tiny little face in my elbow and purred. Mark said that he had claimed me as his own. Less than a month later, we took him home.

He was the sweetest thing. He loved absolutely everybody, and was the most social cat – he always had to know what was going on. He never bit or hissed or got upset. He was tolerant and patient and won everyone over with his tiny squeak of a meow.

He was the quirkiest cat, too. He loved spinach and would beg for it every time it was in the house. He was also incredibly curious about human food and loved to sniff whatever I had to eat. I would let him, because he was well-behaved enough to never eat it.

He had a habit of bopping Mark on the chin – he would climb up on top of him and try to nibble on his beard at night. I swear there was never a friendlier cat.

I don’t know how to process him being gone. I keep expecting to hear him from the other room, and I keep wishing I could snuggle him again. I would do anything to bring him back, but it is comforting to know he isn’t sick anymore.

If you’re reading this and you have a pet, please give them extra love today, for me. You never know when it might be your last snuggle.

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