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It feels like just a few weeks ago when I had to deal with the fact that one of the cats I grew up with was no longer going to be a part of my life. It was a sad day that Bobo left us but the weeks leading up to it were an indication and at least I had some mental preparation. But today, I didnt have the luxury of preparation. My mom called me while I was at lunch and expressed that Patches, our oldest cat, was actually in trouble. My mom said that Patches was sprawled out on the ground and breathing funny. She said that she looked like she was suffering. I truly never thought this day would come, as strange as that sounds. I am not exaggerating when I say that we have thought Patches was on the brink of death for at least the past 5 years. She wasnt a kitten when we got her 16 years ago and I would bet that she was at least 20. So given that nothing has been able to take Patches down, I had kind of considered her invincible and immortal given that I know how unpractical that is. 

Anyways, when my mom called me, the thought that Patches might actually leave us crossed my mind for the first time in a very long time. It was strange. My mom didn’t know what to do, so I told her to call my brothers and let them know whats going on, but then to wait an hour or so to see if this wasn’t some senility thing Patches was going through (because shes been senile for a while now we think). I told my mom that if after an hour things werent better, that she should take Patches to the vet and put her out of her misery. 

I texted my mom later and she let me know she had done it. To say that Patches and I were extremely close is not true. I liked Patches, even more than Bobo, but Patches kind of did her own thing these past couple years and she couldnt move around much. But Patches meant a lot to me. She and Shadow (who was hit by a car a long time ago) were our first cats and even though we moved around Louisville a fair amount growing up, she and Bobo were always constants in my life when everything else seemed to change. Bobo is gone, and now Patches is too. I will never be able to walk through my kitchen and see her curled up on a pillow sleeping. I will never hear her annoying meow when she wanted us to pour water in her bowl even though it was filled to the brim already. I wont be able to hear her loud purr when you took the time and effort to go out of your way and pet her. 

I loved Patches and she was a huge part of my childhood. It saddens me that she had to go, especially with Bobo having left us not long ago. But what makes me saddest is that I wasnt there in her final hours. I made peace with myself when I spent time with Bobo on his deathbed, but I wasn’t granted that luxury this time. And while I don’t regret how I treated Patches lately, its just sad I wasn’t able to make those final memories with her which I knew would be my last.

This time, I wasn’t home to dig the grave, so my mom had to do it. And she realized how hard that is to do. The act isn’t physically tiresome, but it takes a toll emotionally. You are digging a hole which is the last time you will ever see your friend again. Im sad that she had to go through that and I wasn’t with her.

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