The other day I said goodbye to a dear friend, Oliver the cat.
Although Oliver was not mine, we spent much of the last year enjoying each other’s company. Everyone believes they have the most unique pet, but Oliver was–at least for me–a truly special little guy.
My landlords adopted Oliver from a shelter in the 90’s, making him at least 17-years-old, but he was still spry–especially when he wanted your attention (or whatever you happened to be eating). Despite his stinky breath and dirty feet and sometimes curmudgeonly attitude, everyone who met Oliver found themselves charmed. He had charisma and confidence. That, and he loved to snuggle.
Oliver stayed close to the house overlooking Alki, so we started to worry when we hadn’t seen him for a couple days. Those days turned into weeks and those weeks quickly became a month.
While we were realistic enough to know Oliver would probably never be coming back, we still held onto a glimmer of hope.
Unfortunately, these hopes ended when the house dog found Oliver under the porch.
A little heartbroken, but also relieved to finally know what happened to our friend, my roommate Wendy and I talked about what was best, considering the homeowners were away traveling. Finally, we buried Oliver in a peaceful spot in the flower garden of the same front yard where he’d spent his long and lovely life hunting birds and relaxing in the grass.
We sipped a beer, said a few words that somehow felt silly and overly sentimental, but also like not nearly, not even close, to enough. Finally, we said goodbye.
I’ll sure miss you, Oliver.