Today we said goodbye to our first baby. Bailey made it to her 18th birthday before finishing her 9th life with us. My husband and I adopted her before we were married when we desperately wanted to be parents, but knew we still needed to live a little bit more first.
She was my first adult pet, and the pet my kids have always known.
She’s just always been here. And now I find myself not knowing what to do with my hands, or how I could possibly open the front door without hearing her meow that harmonized with the creek of the hinges.
To say Bailey was an odd cat is like saying the sky is blue. She loved being scratched behind her ears and on her cheeks and chin, but only until she deemed it completely rude to be doing so, and would leave you crouched down, alone, like a fool.
She’d sit on anything square shaped placed on the floor, and I desperately miss waking up to her sitting on my chest staring into my waking eyes like a creep when she lived inside and slept in our bed.
Once she became an outdoor cat, Bailey began a new life and found her true self. She was always meant to be outdoors, and getting to watch her thrive that way was a great gift to all of us.
She was a beautiful cat, heather grey and pink, and talked more than necessary.
She loved canned peas, my sourdough bread and amazon boxes.
She was a fearless badass, but had compassion for the neighborhood possum who often shared her water bowl.
Today, as a family, we helped dig the hole in our yard where she now sleeps in peace. We covered her with wildflowers we collected on our nature walk this morning, and rocks from the creek in the back.
And we all cried and held each other as we told her how much she meant to us.
The last time I was with her, she let me scratch her behind her ears longer than she ever has before.
She was telling me goodbye.
We love you, Bailey.