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Last night I cried myself to sleep, but not for the reason you’d think. A year and a half ago, two months before my ex left, I had to put my favorite cat to sleep. She had feline diabetes, and we caught it too late. About six months in to insulin treatments her kidneys shut down, and the vet told me even with intensive, extensive treatment there was only a 50/50 chance it would work. If we’d caught it earlier, if she wasn’t already eight years old, I would’ve tried anything. But her kidneys were malfunctioning already by the time we found it, so I had to be a grown up and make the decision to let her go. The pain from that experience hurts infinitely more than the pain I feel from my ex walking out.
I was there when she was born; her even being born was a miracle. Her mother was a young cat that had been hit by a car. She wasn’t walking, so the vet I was working at took her in for round-the-clock care No one knew she was pregnant until it was almost time for her to deliver. It was my very first experience with a litter of kittens from birth. Every time I would go in to feed them this little scrawny black and white one would climb my pants while I tried to work. I knew she had to go home with me. She rode on my shoulder the entire way home.
The first week I had her she almost died from dehydration. She was only six weeks old. I rushed her to the emergency vet and they saved her for me.
After that we were inseparable. She was my familiar, my soul mate in cat form. She slept with me, always sat in my lap, and always knew when I needed her.
We went through some trials over the years, several moves, new animals and the removal of her friends. But she was always there and always mine.
I feel I failed her in the end. I should’ve known something was wrong. But I chalked it up to loneliness; she had lost her best friend suddenly the year before.
I learned from that experience at least. I know pay more attention when behaviors change. And that attention has saved two of my babies since then. But the loss still hurts, and hurts deeply.  She was my best friend.
Sure, I don’t cry daily anymore, or even monthly. But when it hits it hits hard, and I just ride the wave until the pain subsides. I don’t have a shoulder to cry on so I muddle through the emotions and hope I can recover before having to go back out in to the world. But it’s hard. How do you recover from losing your best friend?
You don’t.