I have to say goodbye to Little Boo today, my constant companion since 1997. I'll never forget the first time I held her in my arms. They called her Sammy. She was so shy, she buried her face in my arms. When I was lucky enough to get a peek at her face, it melted my heart. She was all black with a black nose and black whiskers, green eyes, a beautiful face, it was love at first sight. I started calling her Sammy Boo because she often had a surprised look. She hardly ever spoke. Soon, I just called her Boo. We drove across the country together when I moved from New Jersey to Oregon in 1998.
Boo lived to be about 18 or 19 years old, nobody knows for sure. When I adopted her, she was full grown and had been in at least two other homes. I swore she would never need another home. She had health problems for a number of years, but suddenly took a turn for the worse last week, when she developed breathing problems, stopped eating, and stopped moving around.
Since she started having seizures about three or four years ago, she's been on medication, and became the most affectionate cat I'd ever known. For many years, she was the hide-under-the-bed cat, and that tendency became the norm when I had another cat, a male alpha, for several of those years.
Boo and I have been through a lot together. When I first moved into my house 12 years ago, I wanted her to become an outdoor cat, so I pushed her out the door. She didn't want to go. I didn't see her again for a week. I was absolutely distraught the whole time she was missing, blaming myself for pushing her out the door, but one day she just reappeared from under the back deck, her little black face covered with cobwebs. I would never push her out the door again.
She was by my side when the other cat, Shadow, who came to us in 1999, went out one night in 2009, and never returned.
In recent years, we've been inseparable. I nursed her through many seizures, and in the good times she would show her affection by nuzzling my face and insisting on getting under the covers with me at night. She loved my cooking, and wouldn't leave me alone when I made something she wanted to taste, which was almost nightly. But since she was on a restricted diet, she really had to turn on her charm to get the smallest taste. Berry yogurt was one of her favorite things. I wanted to get her some today, but I know she wouldn't have budged, even for her favorite treat.
A few years ago, I bought this Black Cat Crazy Quilt from Stella Rubin. The cat reminded me very much of Boo, and I thought it would be something to remember her by after she was gone. While we were waiting to go for our last visit to the vet, I got out the quilt and let her rest on it. I just wanted to know she had touched it. I started taking pictures. Of course, I was a mess, but the most amazing thing happened. I noticed Boo was crying, too. If you click on the last picture, you'll see what I'm talking about.
I knew I'd miss my sweet Little Boo, the most humble, loving cat I've ever known. Now I know she'll miss me, too.