When I met Danielle five years ago, I was never much of a cat person, preferring dogs instead. Since she had two cats, Linus and Ariel, the decision on pets was already over. I would become a cat person.

Thankfully, Linus and Ariel were perfect for making that transition. They both became friendly and affectionate with me immediately. Where before they were indifferent to strangers, they curled up in my lap whenever possible. I’d become their buddy.

Linus and Ariel couldn’t be more different. Linus was always petite and skittish, while Ariel used her size and attitude to get what she wanted. But when we added two more cats, Emmett and The Smoosh, Ariel always defended Linus when necessary. They’d been together long enough that they were as friendly as they could be given Ariel’s loner facade. Because they entered my life together, and because of the way the interacted, I’ve always viewed them as a pair. Laurel and Hardy, perhaps, but they made sense.

Linus died this morning.

I’ll spare the details because I don’t want to relive them. He’d always had a genetic risk because he died the same way his brother died years ago. But it was unexpected because he’d only rarely shown any signs that he might be prone.

I knew it would be difficult when it happened. I didn’t know it would be this difficult. Putting out three plates of cat food after we got home from the vet this morning was devastating. I will miss being able to call his name and have him come prancing into the room, but only if you called his name in a high-pitched, rapid-fire voice. I will miss the games and having Linus playfully bite my hand. I will even miss the times where he soiled himself and we had to cut the hair off his tail.

I’ll end with my favorite picture of him:


R.I.P. Linus

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