Yesterday it became obvious that Muffin was declining quickly. She has not been eating well for the last three months, despite our best efforts, and creative meal planning. She is less than a month shy of 18, so it's not unusual, but it was still hard knowing she wouldn't be here much longer. I was glad I got to pet her last night, and tell her to say, "Hello" to Ben, and Cindy before she passed away sometime before morning. Muffin was the best cat. She NEVER bit, scratched, or chased toes in the middle of the night. She had all the dogs, (and people) in this house under control. She let me poke her, flip her, and pull her around any which way without a single complaint. She was an 11 year kitty breast cancer survivor, and she had the prettiest green eyes I've ever seen. Muffin was 'my' first pet (though she came into a pack of family pets I loved at the time, she was 'mine'). I had wanted another dog, but that didn't work out, I got a cat-and I couldn't be happier about that outcome-she's what I needed. She has been with me for more than half of my life, I held her the day she was born (my cousin's cat's kitten), and the day she passed away. She 'knew me when.' I liked to pretend she too remembered and missed the good ole' days in my childhood home, our pet family Cindy, and Ben, and my Grandad along with all the other special places and memories that made me---me. I always find one of my little furr babies when I get home from a hard day for a hairy hug, and I liked to think Muffin really 'got me' since she experienced so many of the things that shaped me. I never deal well with death, but it was worth the 18 years of life that I got to spend with her. I'd never trade the experience despite the sadness at the end. I know I'll always miss Muffin.