Everyone hated you and you hated everyone, except me.

When you were just six weeks old, I’d read somewhere that if I wanted you to sleep in the cat bed I’d got for you, I should take a stuffed animal and put an old timey alarm clock behind it. The theory was that the clock would simulate a heartbeat, and the stuffy would be fuzzy, making you think it was your mother.

That’s last all of thirty minutes, before you climbed your way up into bed and curled up your tiny frame in my body, head pressed against the centre of my chest. Twenty years later, you used your final bit of strength to lift your head, tuck it under my chin and snuggle up to my beating heart.

I don’t know why I thought that ticking clock was a good idea, or why the person who wrote that article thought that was better than having unconditional love curled up to you at night, but I wouldn’t trade twenty years of having you curled up against me for anything.

People called you devil cat. Asshole cat. But for me, you were a source of absolute and unconditional love. No one else ever really got that affection, but for me, knowing that every night and every day, as soon as I sat down, you’d curl up in my lap and purr away. As much grief as you could cause me, I knew that at the end of the day, you’d crawl into my arms, tuck your face under my chin and cuddle as tightly as you could to my chest. Your purr was often so strong that I thought it actually disrupted my heartbeat.

I’m going to miss you, buddy. You were my best friend, the one I could always count on to be love, no matter what. You may have been an asshole cat, but you were my asshole cat, and my heart is broken.

I can remind myself that twenty years is a very long time for a cat to live, and we spent it all together, but it doesn’t matter. In the end, I’m going to miss your terribly, and that’s just something I’m going to have to find a way to endure.

I’m sorry you couldn’t live forever, Mags. I’m sorry we didn’t get enough time. I’m happy we got the time we did.

Bye, buddy. I love you, unconditionally and absolutely, forever.

Target: 1100 words
Written: 862 words, novella: The Mungk

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