Dear Millie Joyful,
Of course, it's impossible for me to know when your actual birth date was. You were, after all, born to a feral cat and rescued at a young age. I chose September 5th because it was Grandma Bean's birthday, and for several years, marked your life by this date.
You would have been sixteen today--and I always assumed you'd reach this milestone--and beyond. Maggie lived to be eighteen...why wouldn't you?
But you didn't, and it still breaks my heart sometimes.
Is it silly to miss you so much? Maybe. But you can't love someone for as long as I loved you and not hurt when that someone dies. One night last week, as I was drifting towards sleep, I felt the sensation of a cat jumping on my bed. I reached out and said, "Hey, Duck," thinking Duchess had joined me--she sometimes does. But my bed was empty of feline companions. I think I'm just so used to the soft thump-thump of you landing on my mattress that I'll feel it every once in a while for a long time.
I talk about wanting new kittens--but never to replace you. You are irreplaceable. I just have a lot of love left to give and there are so many sweet lives out there that need saving. In time I'll save more, and I will love them, too. But I'll never forget my first girl, my Millie-Girl. You were special.
If there is a Rainbow Bridge, I hope you're enjoying all the tuna and mouse toys you can possibly want. We all miss you, and agree that you were one hell of a cat.
Happy Birthday, my sweet girl.