Louis was a gift from my mother-in-law, after my mother died. He was an orange and white, short-haired tabby. We named him after my favorite children’s author, Louis Sachar. When we got him he was 8 weeks old.

Having never had a kitten of my very own, I took many pictures of Louis; in most of them he was sleeping. We liked to fold him into different positions while he slept. Don’t ask me why, but we found this very amusing.

Being a kitten, Louis loved to run and explore. Although I worried sometimes about losing him behind furniture, his favorite place to play was actually the litter box. He would bat the sand out of the box with reckless abandon, then look at us like it was the most fun he’d ever had in his tiny life.

Everyday when I came home from work, I would call from the bottom of the stairs “Wheeeeere’s Louis?” and he’d come running to the top of the stairs, squeaking his little greeting at me.

One morning we came out to living room to find a bunch of bananas in the middle of the floor with bite marks in them. Another time I had mopped in the kitchen, and Louis hopped backwards on one hind leg around the perimeter of the room. “He hates the floor!” said Derek. This has been a long running inside joke in our family.

Louis was afraid of thunderstorms, would hide in the bathroom next to the toilet. But when we brought my newborn son home from the hospital, Louis sat beside him during storms. He was always very protective of Desmond.

When we moved into our house, we noticed that Louis often bumped into things, didn’t seem to know where he was going. We figured out that he had gone blind some time ago, and had memorized our old apartment so well that we had never realized it.

He wasn’t around for my daughter’s birth. In fact, he died just a few months before she was born. I was with him when he died. It was harder than I had expected it to be, losing him.

Some people might say, “It’s just a cat.” Even I might have thought that before having had him. But Louis carried so much meaning. He represented a gesture of love from my mother-in-law. He brought me joy in a time of tragedy. He comforted me in what had to have been the lowest point in my life.

So that’s why I bothered to write a post about my cat.

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