When we came to pick you up, you were hiding behind the heater. You had had a rough start into life. Rescued from a farm, you had cat flu and your right eye needed to be removed. We had just lost Jester, the one-eyed, and didn't want Magica to be alone, and then you sat there on the table looking at me from this large beautiful eye and the lady said in a sad voice "People don't want sick cats." We didn't have to think for a minute.
You were the quiet and shy type, not a cuddly cat. You would rather sleep on our feet than on our laps, but you liked to be close. There were a few very rare and precious moments when you let me hold you without trying to get away - once when I picked you up from the vet's where you had had to stay overnight, you jumped into my arms. A few days ago you sat on my chest for 15 minutes kneading away.
You truly were the grey eminence. The others respected you, only Meffi sometimes couldn't hold back and chased you a bit. She never caught you, you were fast. That fact earned you the name "Grey Lightning". We used to say you didn't run on the carpets, but underneath them. Ventre-à-terre, so-to-speak. It probably helped that you had short legs.
You didn't like strangers, but in the last year you didn't mind them too much anymore. You sat in the door looking at them, your eye saying "Look, but don't touch". For years people hadn't believed us that you actually existed and I still see some of them how they lay on the floor taking a peek at you sitting underneath the bed.
As a baby you had an office, first in the cave of the scratching post, later underneath the bed. If we were searching for a pen, we knew where to go. I still see you running a worldwide empire from underneath the bed, but I never found out what exactly you dealt with. Catnip maybe?
Catnip was not your own poison, but you would have killed for chicken or turkey. Standing up, clawing at me while I was cutting it for you. You have been known to steal chicken from the plate, it was something you couldn't resist, no matter how well-behaved you were.
You didn't like to get combed. Your hurt look when the tall guy picked you up, held you and went to work was something else, especially since one tooth had been pulled and you had that slightly crooked smile. When you felt your soft fur was too tangled for you to handle yourself, you came by and dropped, showing us your belly or your pants (the long hair on your hind legs), only then it was ok for you if we combed you, we didn't even have to hold you then.
Today it was time for you to leave us. You spent more than 16 years with us and they were mostly good. But now you got weak and skinny and I'm sorry in case we selfishly dragged it out too long.
Tonight I had a dream about Merlin and you, a sign that he would pick you up maybe? When I came downstairs this morning, I saw that you were ready to say Goodbye. Thanks for giving me the chance to stay with you and hold you one last time. It means a lot to me.
Run free, Grey Lightning, Merlin is waiting for you and he is not the only one. You will be missed.