Parenting Blog

More like a goodbye than a hello

I’d been away for the better part of a week when she came up and laid down beside me. Her hot chocolate eyes and heaving chest inches from my face.

It had been months, shit maybe even a full calendar year, since she had been this close for this long. I wiped away a mixture of sleep and tears, then ran wet hands through my disheveled early-morning hair.

She rested a paw on my arm to hold me in place as I stroked the underside of her chin. She seemed to want two hands rubbing her cheeks and chin in unison. I cannot remember the last time she demonstrated a desire for this kind of, and this much, attention.

Tears continued to flow and a strand of snot hung from my nose. I didn’t feel it but caught sight of it with my blurry eyes. I swiped it away then deposited the evidence of raw emotion on my shirt sleeve. There was no getting up for a tissue or to pee, which I’d had to do for a while. There was no way I was going to be the reason this moment ended. My crying got louder.

This AM cuddle felt more like a goodbye than a hello.

Tilly, my orange tabby baby, is drifting away from us but she gifted me 30 minutes like it used to be.

I remember them snuggled up beneath my baby blanket during nap time atop my bed after I became a stay at home dad.

I remember when she’d gallop into the room from anywhere if she heard Mallory crying.

I remember the way she would cross her paws like she was god damn royalty because she was.

I remember when she and her adopted sister Whisper would play fight on the family room floor at 9pm every single night.

I hate that I’m writing so much of this in the past tense but she doesn’t come running when someone cries. She doesn’t snuggle up when someone sleeps. She doesn’t pretend to battle Whisper. She doesn’t sit like a queen even though she still is and always will be.

I love you Tilly.

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