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Celebrating the life - and mourning the loss - of my beloved cat Bob

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I originally titled this article "Mourning the loss of my beloved cat Bob." But Bob's life was a celebration, and even though I write this with tears flowing down my face, I want to remember his exuberant love of life as well as reflect on his loss.

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Bob was a tiny kitten from the animal rescue shelter when I adopted him. He had been bottle fed, and he subsequently seemed to feel that humans were all mama cats. Bob never knew a stranger: Whether it was a repairman or an elderly aunt, he ran up to every visitor in my home, purring as he rubbed against them, happily chirping when they petted him.

More like a dog than a cat, Bob followed me around the house, played "catch" with his tiny toy mice and even liked to perch on the edge of the tub and put his paw in the bathtub (he was especially fond of bubbles). When I came home, Bob greeted me, chirping, rolling on his back to be petted and "smiling" with happiness by closing his eyes and blinking at me.

At night, Bob would rest on my pillow, sometimes patting my face with his paw and purring joyfully. He was delighted when it was morning, happy when it was noon and cheerful when it was time for bed. Bob taught me the meaning of pure happiness, of unconditional love and of true joy.

My other cat, Miss Kitty, is circling around the house, chirping for him so she can give him a bath. How do I explain to her that he is gone?

I miss you, Bob. I love you.

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