My cat Moriarty died today. He lived with my mother along with our other cat, Holmes. We got Holmes and Moriarty from the SPCA when I was in high school. They are both black cats. My father (now deceased) picked out Moriarty and my mother and I picked out Holmes.
Moriarty had a lot of personality for such a petite fluffy black cat. He would actually talk back to you as if you were carrying on a conversation. He was Mr. Personality. He also had the habit of chewing up socks, underwear and small stuffed animals. Like a dog. He was pretty small but managed to carry large items up the stairs with him. And he loved to lick plastic. Especially plastic ziploc bags. And when he was really being cute, he would meow without making a sound. And he would live up to his namesake by figuring out how to get into any closed door, cabinet or washing machine.
Like many people I know, I am one of those individuals who treats pets like family. It's amazing what a significant place they can take in your life and how much emotional space they can fill. So, when they pass away, the grief is very strong and real. But, as C.S. Lewis once pointed out, the happiness then is part of the pain now. If we didn't enjoy our lives with them so much, it wouldn't hurt to lose them.
We will all miss him a great deal. He is pictured above at left with Holmes.