...in 17 years when I have been truly alone in my own place.
PARENTHETICAL EMOTIONAL WARNING: If you think it's silly for a grown man to get weepy over a cat -- which is, after all, just an animal -- just do us both a favor and go the hell away now, please.
Hobbes is spending the night at the vet. With luck, he'll be home tomorrow. I'd feel better if I was in hospital; at least I'd know what was wrong and what could be done. He's there, in a strange place...I can't imagine how frightened he must be.
And I can't begin to explain how lonely I am. It's not that he's noisy; he's not. Nor is he the kind of cat who needs constant attention. When he wants me, he comes in and lets me know. The rest of the time, he's happy to do whatever it is cats do.
But he's not sleeping on the chair next to the desk, or curled up on the couch. He won't wander in to remind me he's hungry. Tonight when I go to bed, he won't curl up next to me. Worse, he won't be waking me up in the morning -- so I'll feed him, of course -- with a gentle paw to the face.
I've always known a day would come when he wouldn't be here. But I'm not ready to face it yet. Of all the things I have lost or have had taken away from me, losing him may well be the worst.
He has never done a thing to hurt me. I've taken care of his needs, and he has done the same for me. He has known when I was unhappy and has stuck close so I could feel the warmth of some living being that loves me. He has adjusted to living with four different cats, three dogs and three women (one of the women was a particular favorite of his which, in hindsight, I think showed remarkable good taste on his part), and has been loyal to me throughout.
I have every reason to think I'll be able to bring him home tomorrow. Tonight, though, I'm getting a taste of what complete loneliness is like.
It hurts, in a way more frightening than I can say.
6 hours ago