You slipped into our lives so quickly and effortlessly, it was like you had always been part of the family. You were supposed to be a patio cat. Mom said that there was no way and no how that you were going to go from the resident neighborhood stray to sleeping on our couches and beds indoors, but you totally knew that wasn't going to fly. You snuck in as much as you could, and eventually declared your permanent presence not just inside, (oh no, you wouldn't settle for just that), but on couches, chairs and beds, and all of your weird sleeping spots too - the stereo speaker, on top of the cable box, under Dad's desk as he worked, and in the plants (Kitty, seriously.. how was that comfortable?!). This is why we eventually settled on the name Queenie, because you just came and conquered our house like it had always been yours. Little did our vet know that we never called you that at home. Kitty suited you much better.
In true cat fashion you quickly learned how to wrap your humans around your cute little white paw, especially Dad! With those big blue eyes, a body rub against our ankles, and meows that ranged from pathetic little mews to screaming MEOWS, you trained us that 3:30 PM was dinner time, and 5:30 AM was your time to go outside and explore. You would never take no for an answer. Seriously, you should have been on the imaginary show Cats Got Talent for your vocal range.
Even though you hated being picked up by anyone except for Dad (I'll miss laughing at your meows that sounded exactly like Noooo when I picked you up), you more than made up for it with your nighttime snuggles. I could never sit on the ground or lay down on the couch without you immediately making a huge fuss and climbing all over my body. So often I didn't want to move for fear of waking you up, because you were just so darn cute when you were sleeping.
Remember how much of a BA you were? The fact that you were able to corner Max & Clayton at the same time, and hold them there with your 6 pounds of fury until the humans came to rescue them is quite impressive. You made your dominance in the house known. Those poor puppies were scared to look you in the eye, even though you had never lay a paw on either of them. Watching Clayton peek around the corner to see if you were at your food bowl each and every time he walked through the kitchen was both entertaining and a little sad... you big bully! And as for your other pastime? Although we didn't quite appreciate seeing the poor little lizards squirming for freedom in your mouth at the time, we never thanked you for keeping the patio area bug and rodent free either. Silly cat!
Your best buds, Clayton and Max
Even though you hated other animals, you certainly loved the humans in your life. You had the funniest skill of converting cat haters into cat people. I always thought it was so incredible how you were able to pick that one person out of a crowd, zero in on them, and end up sitting on their lap for the rest of the night. And don't worry, even though she didn't always show it, you totally converted Mom into a cat person too.
I'm writing this letter because I never want to forget all of the silly little memories I have with you, like how when we first got you I refused to walk through a room in the dark because you were always hiding in the corners waiting for your next victim (aka leg) to attack. Or that one Christmas when you found your present under the tree (hellloooo catnip), tore open the wrapping paper, and walked off with your prize. Christmas in general, really. You sure did love sitting under your Christmas trees, among the colorfully wrapped presents and under the warm Christmas lights. I always loved how you consistently managed to find that one sunny spot on the carpet to bask in. Or those few years when Brian used to feed you lunch meat while he made a sandwich, and how you used to begggg for it every time we opened the fridge. I'm so glad you grew out of that phase. Or how about when you were young and you used to try to make a great escape each and every time we opened the front door? You soon realized how much better it was with your humans there to pet you and feed you and love on you, huh? I also cracked up every time a cold spell would hit Florida because you always got so hyper and excited, and ran around like a wild woman with crazy eyes. I still don't know why the brisk air would get you so worked up.
Nothing could have prepared me for how much it hurts to lose you. It seems crazy, even to me, but you weren't just our pet. You were a part of the family. I wish I could have spent the last four weeks with you. Maybe given you one more kiss and one more hug. I had no idea that when I said bye to you to fly back to Spain that it would be for the last time. And it hurts. But all I know is that I can take comfort in the fact that we loved you with all we had, and will always appreciate everything your furry little self gave to us as well.
There will never be another cat like you.
RIP princess. 1999-2014