Eighteen years ago, on April 18th, my husband and I brought home a teeny-tiny black, gray and brown stripey kitten from the local humane society. We named her Nimue because I'm a giant nerd, and she was my baby. She had the most beautiful sage green eyes and would purr whenever she was with me. She was shy and a little skittish around other people, but she loved me.
She laid by my side while I worked and kept me company with every book I wrote - even the pile of crap ones that'll never see the light of day. She was unimpressed when I bought the boys home from the hospital, but quickly took over the role of "Mom Cat" and would do her best Timmy's-in-the-well-Lassie-impersonation whenever one of them would cry or doing something she didn't approve of.
Over the last year, she's grown understandably more feeble and a little blind and had taken to hiding for hours at a time - cupboards and bookshelves being her favorite spots. When she wouldn't answer last night when I called, my husband went looking for her. He found her curled up on a bookshelf, looking like she'd simply fallen asleep. I'm grateful that she went peacefully, but I miss her like mad.