Tango came into my life and changed it forever in the summer of 1997. I was 24 and on my own for the first time. My friend’s cat had kittens and when they were weaned from their momma I went and picked mine up. From that first night he slept on my pillow, as close to my head as possible. I barely got any sleep that night, as I was so afraid I would smother him! Little did I know that would become our habit – for the next 14 years. Sometimes he would curl up right on top of my head so that he almost smothered me. That has been the hardest part about losing him – learning how to fall asleep without the weight of his body close, and his soothing purr to lull me into dreamland. The silence is deafening. Tango moved with me 11 times within 5 different states. Through heart breaks and first dates, new jobs, grad school, marriage, and my first born – he’s been by my side, welcoming me home enthusiastically. He loved to snuggle. Sometimes, it seemed like he was the only friend I had in the world. When I was with him, I couldn’t help but feel pure joy. When we moved to Colorado, he got sick within the month. He spent 2 weeks in kitty ICU at CSU. Miraculously, he pulled through and we were able to bring him home. Even more astounding, is that he lived for 3 more years in kidney and liver failure. Towards the end, he was truly suffering and my heart broke in two. It was time. How I’ll miss those beautiful blue eyes, those snowshoe paws kneading my chest, his warm breath against my neck. I can still hear his sweet meow, and see him curled up on his favorite recliner, where there’s still a deep impression in the cushion – as deep as the impression he has left in my heart. Tango, I hope you experienced joy from your life with me. I know mine has been enriched a thousand times over having had you in mine, for oh, too short a time. Thank you for your friendship, understanding, patience, and unconditional love. I miss you.
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