The studio seems empty now, even with me, Padsworth, and DragonDrop in it.
There's a certain warmth missing that only cat fur and purrs can give it. Our Official Studio Cat, Moses, gave up his brave fight with cancer during the night.
Just that day, he'd enjoyed his usual porch time, lying on a blanket in a puddle of sunshine, alert and listening and watching as the birds and squirrels did their best to entertain.
He didn't purr last night when we tucked him in, and we suspected the end was near. His eyes were dilated, and we said soft goodbyes and stroked his fragile head.
He crossed the Rainbow Bridge during the night hours, and we mourn the loss of a good friend of sixteen years. It helps the hurt we feel, if we remember the good times, instead of the cancer, the medicine, and the wobbly legs.
Moses was indeed rescued, just like the baby he was named for. Our dog Pepper brought him home from a feral cat's litter. We could tell by the remainder of the coating on his fur that he was only hours old when she carefully placed him in her house, nestled in the cedar shavings.
Several weeks of determined care began and continued, as we syringe and dropper-fed him, kept him warm under a light, and carried him in our shirt pockets to keep him from being too alone.
He grew into an impressive man-cat (fixed) and enjoyed rock-star status at mousing.
Sometimes he had to spend some time in time-out, but not very often.
And he had one of the best "disapproval" stares around here.
Somehow, he always kept his "kitten" face, and didn't mind a bit acting younger than his age.
He took his role as Official Studio Cat very seriously. He was one of the best at rearranging quilt blocks.
I know that many of you feel certain that you have the Best Cat Ever. But I have to tell you, Moses took that title years ago.
It hurts my heart to know I won't hear your throaty, purred greeting in the morning anymore. And we will miss your climbing up into our laps to investigate what we are eating, as we sit in the recliners. But we know Pepper was glad to see you. And we know that now you're across the Bridge, you don't hurt anymore -- and you don't need that Terrible Tasting Medicine.
Until I get to heaven, Moses, you make sure that you do a good job mousing. And rearranging the angels' quilt blocks.
You're our Moses, forever.
PS Many thanks to those of you who sent purrs and prayers when Moses was first diagnosed. Your warmth and friendship brightened our days.