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We’ve joked for a while now that Emily was the insane elder upstairs that we don’t talk about.

At almost 19, Emily exhibited signs of cat dementia. Actually, she had shown them for almost ten years, but I didn’t know it was a thing. Thanks to the Kitten and Cat Advice group on Facebook, this was pointed out to me.

So I had this dream that she was found, and the apartment complex/a doctor/vet’s office had UPSed her to California because I wasn’t home. I kept waiting for the UPS package to arrive to bring her back; my fiance and I had worked out a plan to keep her safe and well cared for. I woke up waiting for the package and thinking it was okay to keep snoozing because she was used to living in “rustic” conditions. (I kept waiting for her to arrive in wooden UPS box. She was found in a metal dumpster when she was little; not sure where I got the rustic idea.)

But, alas, I don’t get to return home to my friend of 19 years. After Thanksgiving in Texas, in which, yes, I did show Sam the infamous capital of Austin, although unfortunately not a lot of it this trip, he returned home to find her gone. Emily and I have been through everything together. From crazy parents, many moves, and first love heartaches, to the realization that my dad and sister were gone, a totally different kind of heartache. I texted her last night. I don’t really expect to hear back from her. I guess I was just looking for someone to tell that a final piece of childhood is gone.

Honestly, I can’t tell you why I’m writing this other than I was told it helps to get it out. No one wants to read a post about a dead cat. I can’t decide if I’m more mad that I was traveling again and wasn’t there for her or in disbelief: she was supposed to see me through all the degrees. One of the themes from Thanksgiving has been learning its okay to slow down and take my time with graduation. Do I take this as a sign now to be true? She got me all the way to All But Dissertation; now I can just let it be since she won’t be barking at me to get it done anyway. I guess.

Today’s objectives: first, try to figure out how to tell my bosses that the two papers that were already late have been derailed once again. Because growing up is so much fun. And second, make peace. I don’t want to spend the next two weeks hoping to come home to the UPS package.

Fly high Emily. Dance on all the roof tops with your bell and beauty!

Fly high Emily. Dance on all the roof tops with your bell and beauty!