I'll bet you think this is a half-grown kitten, but Midnight was actually more than full grown when this was taken. In fact, she was 16 years old! I'm posting pictures of Midnight to celebrate her life, a life that ended all too soon as far as we're concerned.
In 1993, Midnight and her mother and brothers and sisters were abandoned by a heartless owner who snuck away in the dark of night, never to be seen again. The next day my youngest son had brought the big mama cat and a piteously mewing black and white kitten home for some food. By the time he finished explaining the plight of the homeless kitties, I was hooked. The next thing I knew I was shopping for cat food and arranging for a vet.
Midnight's mother, Fifi, was a terror all her life. To be honest, Midnight herself could be dangerous when crossed. But we didn't care about a few scratches and bites - we loved her to death, and (except for my husband) we were her willing slaves for life.
Midnight was Pete's cat at first, but she gradually accepted the other kids too. Children grow up and away, though, and after eight or ten years Midnight was reduced to spending most of her time with me. When our youngest left for college, Midnight moved with us to a Framingham apartment, and a year later she settled happily into our Framingham house. By then, she and I were inseparable.
Actually, Midnight and I were inseparable only when my daughter was away at school. She would move back into Meg's bed whenever Meg was home. Midnight's true love, however, was reserved for the boy that saved her life. She didn't care that her boy was now a man, or that he didn't live with us anymore. She was as loyal and as appreciative and loving as an animal could ever be.
For the last few years, Midnight and I were always together. I loved her and she loved me back. When she first got sick, I gladly spent whatever it cost to nurse her back to health. I don't regret even one of the emergency visits to Tufts Animal Hospital, because each time she came home healthy and well. Honestly, Midnight was a kitten till the very end. But then came a day when she didn't get better; a day we all saw her pain. On that day we released her. She deserved that much from us, no matter how hard it was to let her leave.
Weeks have passed and I still see Midnight whenever I walk into a room or go around a corner. I hear her voice behind every door, and I see her curled up in my bed every single night. But she isn't there. I spend too many hours alone, and I am often lonely. She was my constant companion for more years than I had a right to expect, and I miss her very much. We all miss her very much. I know we will miss her and love her forever. We will forever be grateful that Midnight shared her life with us for such a long, long time.