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an empty space

Lilly at age 15 or 16
Lilly at age 15 or 16

It’s been a very long week. 

Lilly, my 19-year-old cat, is out of pain now. 
I couldn’t do it.  My heart was already too pained; I couldn’t manage it.  My kind-hearted step-father, Bill, did it for me – took Lilly to be euthanized at the vet this past Thursday morning. 10:30 a.m was the appointment.  
I wanted to be the one to take her but knew I couldn’t. Even though I know the decision to put her to sleep was the most loving thing for her (her quality of life was negligent at this point), I was not, am not, strong enough to see it through.     
Bill said he cried during and after.  He knew Lilly for 19 years, too.  He loved her as I did. 
At 19 she was growing feeble; cried constantly from pain and yet, when I so much as looked at her – even for a moment – she purred her vigorous purr.  I’ve never known a cat with such a loud purr.  
That purr often was my alarm clock in the morning.  Even though her coarse and wet tongue licked my closed eyelids, it was the purr that would wake me.  She even purred in her sleep, and would wake her self up, too.  It was funny to see that.   Kind of like how some of us wake ourselves up snoring; well, she’d wake up with a start, dazed.  Then, she’d curl back up into a tighter ball and drift off quickly again right after. 
She looked equal parts salt and pepper with that gorgeous long coat that was so much work.  Her personality was equal parts sugar and spice.  Old age didn’t damper her sweetness, though at age 19, she grew more shrill.
It’s the empty space she left that is difficult to deal with.  I remind myself that she is happier, and at rest.  It’s just the empty space that breaks my broken heart now.
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