You just really never know when the best and the worst days of your life are going to be.

One day I’m booking a ticket to a show in NYC, then two weeks later a world-wide pandemic hits and almost takes my dad’s life. Two moths after, I meet the love of my life. And by the end of the following year we’re married.

Besides the looming threat of a third world war and inflation not-so-slowly pricing me out life, I was happy. Stressed a bit but still working and painting to cover bills, but life was good, ya know?  I am blessed and I try not to ever take that for granted.

But you don’t get to decide when good things come or when the very best things go.

And Saturday night at 5 pm, one of the very best parts of my life left. My Shyssa left this world while still lying in my arms.

My thirteen year old, grumpy angel of a cat was my best friend my entire adult life. Found on the side of the road when I was 19, this tiny thing with a raspy meow and feisty attitude had been by my side ever since. She’s made several moves with me (Macon, Hawkinsville, Decatur, Atlanta, Roswell). She has judged me for the amusing and questionable company I’ve kept, and seen me through all the laughter and tears ones twenties tends to bring.

I will never be able to truly honor Shyssa with words. She was my little guardian angel, my spirit guide. She saw me through dad’s sickness and got me settled into my life with Landon. I love that she made sure to form a sweet relationship with him too, my beautiful soul of a husband that is allergic to cats.

Towards the end, Shyssa battled heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. The treatments and diets for each issue conflicted with the other, so while we treated what we could, giving her fluids would have overloaded her little heart. The vet said it was a balancing act and a waiting game.

I know no matter what decision I could have made would leave me with eternal grief. But I opted to let her pass in my arms with the vet’s assistance before any of her three ailments got any worse.  Every ounce of me is hurting and I don’t see it easing any time soon. Someone told me that “one hour too early is better than one minute too late.” And that gives me a little peace. I didn’t want her to know any more pain.

I feel like that she was more myself than I am. And maybe those close to me can attest to that. I loved her more than most humans.

How can I be a crazy cat lady without my crazy cat?

Landon has been such a gem. I love him so much. He is patient, loving, and encouraging, but not loud, ever-present, or pushy. He’s there to cuddle with me and nap, but also let me process this in my own way.

I think he knows he married a cat.

Rest easy, my little spirit guide. I will love you forever.