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My cat died and I feel blinded

Dear Cary,

Just yesterday, my cat died. I know that will probably not sound like a big deal to many of your readers, but it is monumental in my world. He was not just any cat. He was the kitten I was tasked with caring for when he was less than a week old. His eyes weren't even open yet, and he had been abandoned in the dog toy aisle of a PetSmart. I was working at the vet clinic next door, and was planning on adopting another dog. I was allergic to cats. I said I'd foster him for two weeks ... and up until yesterday, I would follow that sentence by saying, "and almost eight years later, I have a cat." Now there is nothing but hurt.

I bottle-fed him every two hours, and I made him pee and poo. He had no mother, and I have never been anyone's mother ... nor will I ever be. Except his. I taught him how to use a litter box, and I taught him and my dog to get along. On his own, he learned to sit in response to both voice and hand signals, just by watching the dog. He would come when called, and one day he decided to walk on a leash because he simply didn't want to be left behind when we took the dog out.

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