16 June 2024


CJ spends a good part of the night sleeping with me, usually draped across my hips and thighs, which tends to make my legs go numb. But, hey, he's a Good Boy and he picked me as  His Person, so I let him stay.

The night before last he stretched out near my side, using my body pillow for support. He was comfortable, I was comfortable, and we both fell asleep. I was also happy as hell because there's nothing like a warm kitty who wants nothing more than to be with you sleeping cuddled up close.

I'm not sure how long it was--an hour, maybe three--but I woke to the sound of a tiny, weird sounding meow. That was nothing new; both cats have soft meows unless they really want something, or are scared. I thought he might be having a bad dream, so I reached out to pet him.

Normally when I do, he lifts his head to look at me, even for just a second. But that night, he didn't move. I whispered his name, then said it louder, still petting him. No response.

Carefully, with a whole lot of trepidation, I set my hand on his side. I couldn't feel any movement. No soft rise and fall as he breathed, no tiny muscle twitches from the weight of my hand on him. 

I moved my hand to his chest. Not a thing. No breathing, and I couldn't feel a heartbeat. I pressed harder, still nothing.

So I stuck my finger under his nose, hoping to feel tiny puffs of warm air.


So I did what any hopeful person would do. I started shaking him, speaking loudly, calling his name, begging him to wake up, despite the dread that he would not.

I shook harder.


Finally, I reached for my glasses and half sat up, wondering what the hell I was going to do. I told him, "You're only a year old, CJ, come on."

My watch lit up, bathing his still body in dim light.

He lifted his head, looked at me like, HEY I AM SLEEPING HERE!, and then laid back down, dropping right back into the sleep I worked so hard to rouse him from.

"You," I said into the dark, "are a little shit."