This is my kitty, Snickers.
She began her life as a barn kitten in Vermont, but it was initially destined to be a short one. Her owner, not wanting any more adorable kitties in the world (or so I imagine), brought her to a vet to have her put down. My sister, who was beginning to explore the veterinary field at the practice, took her in instead of letting her die.
Snickers then continued her life as an illegal dorm cat.
The first time I met Snickers was when I went to stay with my sister at Middlebury for a weekend. I hadn’t really interacted with a cat since our 23-year-old Demelza had passed away when I was in elementary school, and I was immediately smitten. Snickers was a crazed kitten, spending most of her time galloping around the dorm room. One of her favorite tricks was to knock a scarf down from a hook, run as fast as she could, jump on it, and slide across the room.
That night, after she had tired herself out, I felt a little purring weight climb onto me and pad up to the edge of the covers. I began to pet her, and she wormed her way under the sheet, curling up against my belly. She slept like this all night, perhaps liking the sound of my heartbeat as much as I loved the comfort of her purr.
Eventually Alice, to my immense excitement, sent her home to live with us. At the time, I was a sophomore in high school, still trying to find my way and drowning in the usual high school drama. A little kitty was exactly what I needed.
Snickers and I settled into an easy routine. Every night at the same time, she would come and find me and sit in front of me, staring at me pointedly. That was my cue to drop whatever I was doing and go to bed. She would then climb under the covers with me and spoon with me (or, more often than not, spread out until she was taking up half the bed). Around 4 or 5 AM, she would go wake up my mom for food and then play around the house for awhile. Then, when my alarm went off, she would come trotting back into my room and sit with me while I woke up, helping me start every day on the right foot.
She was my constant companion while I was in high school. When I walked around the yard, she followed me. At camp, where there are fewer cars, she and I went on longer walks (and still do). The absolute hardest part of going to college was not having her there next to me. I still don’t sleep well without her little kitty warmth curled up against me, and I miss her every day, even though we’re practically drowning in cats here.
Snickers went missing for two days earlier this week. By the grace of mother nature, she came back. It was one of those things that I worry about constantly, and when it happened, the world fell out from underneath me. It seems silly to care about a pet so much, but she and I share a daemon-like bond, and I hope to still have many more years with her.
Here’s to appreciating those things in life that make your soul feel happy. I love you, Snickers!
What about you, dear reader? Do you have, or did you have, a sweet pet with whom you shared a similar bond?