I was 8 years old when I got her. A friend was trying to place her kittens in good homes, and I begged and begged my parents to let me have one. On Mothers Day 1995, my wish was granted.
I named her Tigger for her stripes, though I knew she was female. I learned that it was uncommon for females to have such defined stripes, so already I knew she was special. The name suited her just fine, thank you, I didn't care what others said. She was mine and that was her name.
I played with her a lot those first summers. I discovered she didn't ALWAYS land on her feet, didn't like going frontwards OR backwards down the plastic yellow slide in the backyard, and couldn't kick her addiction to the Chicken O' the Sea. She never learned that she couldn't catch the red dot of my laser pointer; she attempted tirelessly and in vain every time. It wasn't ever about the prize for her, the chase was all that mattered. Never seemed to care much about cat nip.
At night she would sleep at my feet. Sometimes she'd crawl up and nudge me in the face while I slept. Sometimes she wandered around looking for a way under the covers. Whenever she did find a way under, she always bit my toes.
I told her secrets, because she wasn't going to tell anyone. She watched me laugh, she watched me cry, and she stayed by my side unless she saw something shiny. But that was fine I guess.
Tonight she left Earth too soon, like all good things do. She was old; not as careful, not as quick. The spring in her step had faded over the last few years; her skin a little too saggy, her fur not as shiny. She was run over on accident by a car, and after a painful struggle was graciously euthanize and freed from her pain. I didn't know when I last saw her that that was the last time I'd see her. Had I known I would have said goodbye, spent some time holding her, remembering those adventurous summers long ago. Instead, she slunk by me on her way outdoors, pausing to look up at me only briefly. And that is all I have left of her.
So Tigger, this is my goodbye. Though you'll never read this, or know it exists, it's here. Forgive me for putting you down the slide, for testing laws of gravity with you in the tree house, and for pushing you off the bed when you bit me. May this entry stand forever; a record of your existence, a memory of your life. May it outlive us all, captured in the cloud.
Heaven gained a great soul tonight.
The rest is silence.