You were the ugliest kitten at the rescue that day. But you latched onto Ken, and we didn’t have a choice. Your partner-in-crime was handsome enough for kitten chow ads, and some kittens are like ugly ducklings who grow up to be swans. We had high hopes.

But you were not a swan. You were two cats merged together, and one of those cats was half possum. Your tail came right off a squirrel, and your nose had the biggest hump in it that I’d ever seen.

And you were filled with so much love.

You loved so much that we could play hot potato with you, and no matter whose lap you were in, you were happy to be there. When you were a kitten, I tucked you into my bathrobe while I was working so I could keep going even as you demanded to be close to me. Sometimes I’d watch you run from the front window and down the stairs when Ken got home, just so you could be on your perch to get pets when Ken walked in. When I was lying on my bed reading, it was through your fur because you had to lie on my arms, just to be as close to me as possible.

You had the longest fur I’d ever seen on a cat. It was ridiculous. And so soft. You’d shake that squirrel tail of yours, and that fur was so soft and long it would just flop all over. You were mostly gray as a kitten, but as you grew up, the browns and whites spread. You weren’t really a tabby or a calico.

You were a possum.

You didn’t know how to meow, either. You were silent for a long time, and then you decided to speak, and you yodeled. It was wild and unpredictable. You would only ever do it once to get our attention, so I was never able to record it so people would understand why I called it a ‘yodel’.

I’m scared it’s what I’m going to forget first. That one day in the near future, I’m going to try to remember what you sounded like, and it’s just going to be gone.

Chonk misses you. I think the first day, he thought you’d be back. But it’s been a few days, and he doesn’t leave my side much anymore. You were his best friend, his ride or die. I know he’ll move on soon, and he’ll never really understand this the way I do, but he hurts right now.

There’s no good way for me to end this. *It shouldn’t be ending now.* It should be ending in 10, 15, 20 years, even. But life is like this a lot, and the only thing left to do is remember all the joy you brought to every single person who met you.

When we called you a whore cat, it was out of love.

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