The one thing that I do know for sure in this world is that everything changes. People leave our lives. They change. Things change. Situations change.

You might be going through a really tough situation and the universe will place these amazing people and animals in our lives that forever change the way that we look at the world.

My husband and I take care of feral cats and they come and go constantly. Every week it feels like we have a new kitty that shows up. I love it. Despite that, we definitely have a set group that have called our house their home. Mr. Kit is one of them. So was Slinks.

We had just moved into our house and were there for maybe a year a two when this tiny little boy showed up. He was full grown but such a tiny thing. He was terrified of us. He would slink up to our house and try to hide himself in the grass. The best was when he would see us sitting outside on our front patio under the carport and he would try to sneak up via the road and try to hide behind the curb so we couldn’t see him. It took almost half a year to get him to come up close. We knew he would eat after we left but never come up while we were around. We couldn’t touch him. He wouldn’t let us.

We got him a special bowl. He was terrified of it and preferred eating off of the ground. Then, the worst happened. Hurricane Harvey was coming our way. We had little to no time to figure out what to do. We grabbed some clothes, a little bit of food, all four of our inside boys and left. We didn’t have room for any of the ferals in my tiny car so we said a protection prayer for the house, the feral colony, and then we left.

When we came back Slinks was an entirely different cat. He followed me around literally everywhere. When I was going through some deep and painful changes he was by my side the whole way. He loved to help with yard work. He would follow me around and sit by flowers he wanted picked or plants that he knew needed to be cut back or weeded out. Every morning he greeted me for coffee. I called him my cat boyfriend and we would be on our coffee dates. Every night he would tell me goodnight before I went back inside. I would be doing house work and could see him prowling around the yard.

He once left me a live bird in the garage as a gift. Together we figured out how to trap it so that I could put it back outside where it belonged. In fact he left me gifts quite frequently. Lizards. Snakes. Birds. Squirrels. Cicadas. You name it it would be there on my front stoop in the morning. He was a tiny lion, courageous, brave and taught me so much about myself. I took him to the vet when he was sick. He lived in the garage in the winter months so he could stay warm. I could go on and on about this cat. But the long and short of it is, I loved him. He was mine. He was special.

I was outside one Friday night about a month ago. He jumped up in my lap and was just the sweetest thing. He was so lovey and made the best biscuits he ever made. The next day, he disappeared and I haven’t seen him sense. That coupled with a ton of other things currently going on in my life pretty much broke me.

I miss him. So much. I want him back home more than anything. I keep asking myself if there was something I could have done differently. I had struggled on whether or not he should come inside…But some cats just simply aren’t meant for indoor life. He was one of those. So, we took the chance by letting him live his own life and be his own cat that one day, he may not be there to greet me. That day came….And my heart broke. It still aches for him. I remain hopeful that one he will be back and we can go on just one more coffee date.

I was having a really hard time dealing with him being gone and I wasn’t quite sure how to handle it. So I drew him this picture and tried to capture the essence that was my Slinks. There was a reason he placed in my life. There is a reason he left. But it still hurts. Hold your fur babies close, my friends.

I miss you buddy. Hope you are healthy and well no matter where you are. ❤

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