I try to keep things light and fun around here with cheerful content each day, but life isn’t always cheerful and light. And that reality came crashing into my lap just days ago, when my sweet little Gertie passed away at just three and a half years old.
To say it was unexpected feels like such an understatement. She was so young and (seemingly) healthy. Yet, one minute she was cuddled up next to me on the couch, like always, and the next minute, she was gone.
I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around it somehow, but all I can come up with are thoughts of how unfair it feels to not have been able to spend more time with her. I’ve lost pets before and it’s never been easy. But this one, this one is different.
The first night we brought Franz and Gertie home with us, Gertie had a runny and nose and would sneeze over and over again very quietly (and cutely). She sat in my lap until she fell asleep and then I moved her next to me on the couch so I could do some work. I brought my laptop up to the armrest and started typing… and before I knew it, I felt a soft little kitty crawling back onto my lap. She nestled her way underneath my laptop, into my crossed legs and stayed there until it was time for bed. She did this for countless days after that, long after the sniffles went away, until she was too big to fit in her favorite spot anymore.
And as she got older, when Jeff and I would come home from work each day, Gertie would be sitting in the window waiting, then come to greet me as I walked up the stairs, lay next to me on the couch each night until I was ready for bed (without fail), sleep right by my head at night. Sometimes she would purr so loudly, Jeff and I would make fun of her and tell her to ‘turn off her lawn mower’ at night because it would sometimes be hard to go to sleep, with her right next to us purring. And I honestly can’t believe that I’ll never hear that lawn mower purr again. Or stare into her slightly crossed eyes, pet her big mitten paws, rub her soft little belly…
I just don’t know how I’m truly going to be able to say goodbye to a family member who I thought would be with us for so much longer than she was able. If any of you have any recommendations for how to cope with a loss like this, please please let me know. I am so torn up – she was my little buddy and I already miss her more than I could have ever imagined.
Gertie – you were the most uniquely sweet and unusual kitty I have ever known. We were so lucky to have you in our lives and we will love you always.