To Rio: An Open Letter to My Cat

11:32 AM


I still remember the first time we met and how so unimpressive you were with the whole commotion around you. It was seven years ago and you were glued inside the carrier never wanting to leave when we brought you home. But then it was understandable especially knowing the rough kittenhood you went through; an early life spent with a drug addict who took pleasure in getting you high like himself, an experience that shaped you into one that hated and loathed anything in relation to affection. The vets said it was impossible to re-home you because of how aggressive you were but I knew when I laid my eyes on you that you just needed love and to be cared for just as much as I needed it.

Our beginning was far from perfect and we all knew that cute kitties took a while to get used to new mommies. As time went by, that aggressiveness turned to calmness and soon enough you began sleeping at my feet warming them through the night, and learned my pat on the recliner chair gesture so we can chill watching TV during the day. It was the sign that made me know that you called this humble house a home.  

So, on we went on this fabulous lovely rollercoaster ride. I gave you all I had, regardless of what you did or didn’t do in return. Obviously we had our good times provided you weren’t asleep or moody not wanting to be touched, but the bad times as well when you gave me various panic scares running away from home never to return until after a series of exhaustive searches every single time involving an open can of cat food. I remember how we had to hospitalize you for a week one time because you were hit by a car, and how frightened we all were when told that you might not make it through the night. But a tough cookie you were and survived to come back even stronger. I remember all the endearing cockroaches and lizards you presented to me as gifts in front of my bedroom door and all the playful games we played around the house. I remember how you surprised us all when you learned to knock the door like a normal person, how you’d guard my packages from the mail so no one opens them but me, and how you’d annoy me when I was studying for my thesis or preparing for research; by pulling the papers away with your paws so I can look at you and spend time with you.

Things then changed when you were introduced to your new brother, Simba. I learned then that you were overprotective of me; wanting all my attention to be exclusive to you and nobody else. But Simba needed love and care you see, just as much you did. His previous daddy gave him away the moment he found out he was blind in one eye. He was imperfect for his perfect family but he fit in to ours ever so rightfully, don't you think? Everyone of us carrying a scar of their own, making us the coolest mixed family on the block. It took a while for you to get used to him. I had to intervene when you cast your attacks on him and kept pushing him off the edge of the bed to claim me as yours and no one else. Weeks later, things got better when you knew that your space in my heart was and will always remain just for you and grew to have a fondness to the hyperness of Simba.

Fast forward two years later and the inevitable happened. Something that I feared more than my own life, the piece of news that I was fleeing from like the plague, of how your ailments weren’t getting any better because you were getting old. I was in absolute denial that you may leave this world. It was the toughest and hardest situation of my life on whether I should be selfish and keep you or let you go. But how could I be, when I vowed to take care of you and provide you a life better than the one you had before. There was no other option, you were in so much pain that the obvious stood out and that was bidding you farewell.

Carrying you in my arms, all frail and weak weighing a mere 1.5 kilograms from the 7 to 8 kilograms average I was accustomed to shattered my heart. Your dark brown black fur still remained as lustrous as ever while your piercing yellow eyes spoke volumes on your despair. I remember trying to curb my tears as your paw rested on the palm of my hand. I whispered to you how mommy loves you so much as you took your last breath looking for that distant safe spot of peace.


Here I am on my bed facing the grief of waking up with cold feet because you are not around anymore.  I'll miss the night time without you and your purrs. I'll miss your body curled on my feet. I'll miss waking up to you at the foot of my bed, knowing you were there all night, purposefully.

You’ve taken hold of my heart. You put your fragile little life in my hands as I prided myself with the honor of protecting you and showing you the love you always looked for. I pray that I fulfilled the promise to give you a happy life after all that you’ve been through.

You are truly missed buddy and mommy will always love you so much.

Rest in Peace

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  1. This honestly brought me to tears. I can't believe I skipped reading it before. RIP Rio. -NSA


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