Mittens, 2006-2024

We said goodbye to our beloved cat Mittens last month, age 17 1/2. His kidney disease, heart disease and other health challenges finally took him to the point where it was time. He’d kept LeAnn company while I was at Rainforest, but that Saturday/Sunday things worsened. We took him in on Monday March 4 for another consult with our wonderful vet, Dr. Kate and learned that his kidney disease had progressed to stage three. He began having difficult walking. I slept on the couch on the last two nights, to keep him company. The senior vet tech at Aloha Dog & Cat Hospital came in her day off to be with us when we said goodbye to him. He passed surrounded by love.

We adopted Mittens and his brother Simba in October 2006, when our then-vet clinic called to say that they had an elderly client who had very bonded pair of 10-week old kitty brothers who needed a home. I still remember relaying the story to LeAnn while I was talking with the clinic, and we both were laughing with happiness.

The cat brothers immediately became my constant writing companions, bringing boundless kitty energy into my writing spaces. We mounted a cat bed on the windowsill in my writing room and the two spent countless hours there. If I spread out a manuscript on the writing table below the window, one or both would drop down to check it out, and no stack of paper was safe from being laid on. I used to say that Mittens and Simba freely offered editorial input on my writing.

They kept me in the moment. Their attention-getting antics when they were hungry or just wanted some scritchies could disrupt my flow but could also pull me out of an internet-driven distraction and remind me of why I was there. They accompanied me while I wrote nine novels, and Mittens was there for three more, Empowered: Hero, and my first two Meg Booker Librarian Mysteries: A Shush Before Dying and Book Drop Dead.

Mittens was the athlete, his larger brother Simba the “love slug” who lived to be cuddled. Mittens loved to leap and run, and equally loved to perch on my shoulder, and would ride me around the house.

Simba passed in June 2019. Mittens was with him when Compassionate Care visited our home and trotted away as soon as his brother was gone. He was our constant companion throughout the pandemic and through thick and thin, and my writing buddy. He will be missed more than I can say. I am also more grateful than I can say for how blessed LeAnn and I were to have him (and Simba) in our lives.

For us, our cats are family. We’ve been blessed to have six since we bought our house: Kuan-Yin and Indra, Max, Sylvia, and Simba and Mittens.

For now, it will just be the two of us humans in the house. In the meantime, myriad memories provide comfort, and, starting with Book Drop Dead, there’s a cat in Meg’s life.

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