by Alex Schröder
When we went to the shelter to adopt a cat, I was six years old. We almost chose another cat, as my mom felt very sorry for an older, black and white cat that got separated from its sibling. But then my dad noticed Lissy and I immediately liked her for her quirky character. She was a brown tabby cat, only six months old back then. Right now it's difficult to imagine her ever being that young. We brought her home and she was so curious and cautiously explored the whole house. I remember that my mom told me to be patient with her and give her some time to get used to us. And eventually she did.
I can barely remember the time before we got her, she was always around. When my parents got a divorce and I cried my eyes out, she was there on my bed with me. When my mom and I moved to a small flat, she made it into a home. When I had friends over, she would be in the backyard and play with us. Everyone loved her.
I remember when I was in high school, one night the thought crossed my mind that when I moved out, I would have to leave her behind and I cried the whole night. When I actually did move out a few years later, it was extremely weird not having a cat around and I did cry many times because I missed her and my mom so much. Every time I visited my mom, Lissy would come and sleep in the guest bedroom with me. Obviously I noticed that she was getting older and older but she was always healthy and didn't look or act her age. Last year was when things started to go downhill. She started sleeping a lot more and looked more skinny every time I saw her. She also walked a little bit wobbly and in the summer we noticed she had turned deaf. My mom loves her to bits and always did everything she could to give her the best life she could have. I knew that she wasn't going to make it to the next summer. She got more quiet and less active each day and some weeks ago we noticed that she was also blind now. It was terrible to see her stumble across the room, not seeing or hearing anything but we tried to comfort her as much as we could. Three weeks ago when I visited my mom and stepdad, I noticed Lissy's head was shaking every now and then and it looked like she was trying not to fall asleep, struggling to stay alive. So in a quiet moment I sat down next to her, pet her and told her that it's okay to let go. I told her I loved her, said goodbye to her and it was indeed the last time I saw her. Exactly two weeks ago my mom told me that she had Lissy put to sleep that noon, as she was in visible pain, probably slowly dying.
The pain I felt and still feel is the worst I've ever felt in my life. She was 21 years old when she died, I am now almost 27. This may sound ridiculous but I don't have any siblings and she was the closest to a sister I ever had. We grew up together. I cannot put into words how much I miss her and I'm not sure it will ever get better. I'm just glad that I know she had a great life with us and that she doesn't have to suffer any longer. I don't believe in any kind of afterlife but the thought of never meeting her again hurts so much that I truly hope anything like heaven actually does exist. She was so unique and had such a beautiful soul.
Lissy, I will love you forever.