In 1990 I was 4 turning 5 and I got the first cat I could interact with now being old enough. She was a long haired black and white Maine coon cat and developed a knack for getting out when we didn’t want her to by means of running as fast as she could and jumping into our screen door and then running out, because of this we named her Bullet. About a year later she had her first litter of kittens (the result of her getting out and getting around haha). We kept only 1 cat from this litter and we named him Dylan. He was a mackerel colored coon and would just sit contently and watch his brothers and sisters could all kinds of trouble. We eventually gave away all the other kittens and just had Bullet and Dylan. These two cats were the strangest and oddest cats I have ever known. Unfortunately a few years ago we had to put Bullet down to a throat disease that would cause pain whenever she ate. Through her life though she was incredibly loving, usually only to myself and my mother, haha. I’m writing this now though in regards to Dylan in the last 37 minutes of his life. He has turned 20 but over the past 18-20 months has gone from 18lbs down to under 5 due to hyperthyroidism. We have him on medication and have been trying all different foods to get him to gain weight. He was doing fine, although very skinny, up until these past few weeks. He has now completely stopped eating and his meow is barely audible. He has no fat on him at all and looks like a skeleton when wet. The only thing that keeps looking good is enormously fluffy coon coat. Over the years he has been the best animal I have ever had the pleasure of taking care of. He would climb onto the couch and sit on his bottom with his tail between his legs and just watch people go by being as content as could be until he spotted food in which his mission became attempting to trip the person carrying the food to bring it down to his level. He would flop and roll around on the floor letting you scratch his stomach, he would let you hold him upside down while he just purred and loved every minute, he would also jump onto my wife and I’s bed early in the morning and purposely stick his whiskers into your nostrils until you woke up in which he would play dumb and pretend it wasn’t him and that he didn’t know what was going on. He was king of our neighborhood before we moved due to his weighing in at 20 or so pounds and having gigantic double paws with an abnormaility one foot resulting in 3 extra claws on the “thumb” of his paw. He was devastating to anything that dared cross the boundaries of our property. I will miss all of his peculiarities like falling asleep on the couch and slowly sinking into the crack until only his head was showing and not realizing this until we came home and woke him up/ I’ll miss his irritatingly load tom cat style meow in the middle of the night to feed him, and I’ll miss his thick, soft, always warm coat. He currently is asleep on our bathroom floor because he is too weak to walk around for more than a few minutes but this isn’t how I will remember him. I’ll remember as the robust, thick coated, double-pawed loving coon cat that never shyed from a cat fight, never got tired of being loved for hours on end, had a motorboat level purr, would push you away from “his” side of the bed until he had ample room and never pushed away a good meal. I have never known the anguish that pet owners go through until today, and it truly is heart-wrenching anguish, Dylan was truly my own and we were truly best friends throughout the years. He will forever live on in the hearts of my family and all those around us who had come to know and love him. Please pray for me as I never knew my heart could break like this over an animal. Forever and always my friend. I will see you in Heaven.

— Taylor from Portland, ME