Something that breaks my heart is giving Smokey a treat and having him run to me, only to stop and look over his shoulder for Jerry, not once but twice. They used to run together. In fact they used to race.
When I was a kid, and a teenager for that matter, my brother and I did a race too. On Christmas eve we would do our pyjama race. First one back downstairs got to open their Christmas Eve present first. It became very competitive.
It started before I turned 10 and my brother and I petitioned our mom to let us open one present before bed. She agreed so long as we were ready for bed first. And we had to both be ready. This was the beginnings of the Christmas Eve Pyjama Race ©.
Rules developed. First person back got not only prestige, but the right to open their present first. Mom's role eventually became that of the referee. Boxers worn under pants did not count as pyjama bottoms. Carrying your pyjama top down the stairs was foul. As there was one race per year, we were in it to win it.
I miss those days. I miss being a kid. Being an adult can be great too, but you never grow up without losing things that matter to you. And you never stop losing what matters. I miss Jerry. But I have peace about losing him. It was his time. I just have the nurse the Jerry-shaped hole he's left in my heart and take care of Smokey, because he's grieving too.
Thinking about how much it hurt to lose Jerry, I realize how lucky I was to have such a great cat, and that I still have another great cat going on 17 years. They witnessed those pyjama races. I didn't just watch them grow up, they watched me too. My life is never without those kinds of small blessings. And like my aunt says, thank God for small favours.