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A Good-Bye Letter To My Life-Long Companion

May 13, 2022 ❖ Tags: non-technical

Last night – Thursday, May 12th, 2022, at 22:17L – my cat was put to rest. I tend to avoid publishing anything non-technical to this website, but she deserves to be remembered, and this is the only place I can be confident my writing will last. She'd been with me through most of my life, always bringing me comfort when I was stressed, and keeping watch over me when I was sick. I owe this to her.

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I begged my parents for a cat when I was young. It took several years, but they eventually obliged and adopted my first cat, Donovan. He was put down a few years later. My parents got Kona because they noticed how hurt I was to have lost my best friend. We named her Kona after the Cree word for snow, ᑰᓇ, because she had a beautiful, bright white coat of fur.

Compared to Donovan, Kona was docile. She never tried to escape. She didn't even like to be let outside. She always stayed alongside us.

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She was occasionally playful, but for the most part would spend her days bathing in the sun, or finding little hiding places next to my dad. When it got cold, she would rest herself on my chest or lap. She was a great companion, for all the years that she was with us.

She especially liked to join me when I was playing video games. One time, I was playing Metal Gear Solid, and she trotted up to the TV – following Snake as he ran across the screen and batting at him with her paw.

Batting at stuff with her paw was her thing. If I walked past her without petting her, she'd either bat at me, or be a little more aggressive and dig into my leg with her claws. She also frequently beat up the other cat in the house.. and other times, they were the best of friends. They made an excellent team for killing the mice in the basement – Kona would find them, and then go bat Mitzi until Mitzi killed it.

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When I moved back in with my parents at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (when UMass kicked us all out and went online for classes) my younger brother voluntarily moved his rig into the basement1, and Kona started to hang out with him. She'd sit on his desk, accompanying him while he programmed or played video games.

She'd even accompany him when he was working out in the home gym. Karl told me once about how he was mid-way through a set, and Kona hopped up on his chest and made herself comfortable.

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She didn't come up from the basement often. She'd spend her days with Karl, and her nights curled up on my dad's chest. Near the end, the only times I would see her is when I'd feed her. I had a hard time noticing her deteriorating health. Only really a suspicion – on her last day – when she came up to my desk while I was working, and refused the cat food I fetched for her. Karl and my partner were more keen to realizing that things were going downhill, so we took her to the emergency vet that night.

And that was the most I've cried. Ever. Kona was my girl. She really had an impact on me in the time we had together. Life is never going to be the same without her little mewls in the middle of the night.

Farewell, Kona. I will always love you.

(The cat following your cursor, if you have Javascript enabled, is courtesy of Ariana.)

Footnotes:

1

To this day, I think he actually drew the long straw. He's right next to the home gym, the router, he's got plenty of space…

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