Piko Piko, 7 years old when she fell ill last week, was our only "child." She wormed her way into my and my husband's hearts, and I will never fully recover from her loss. She was not only painfully cute, but also smart and so sweet. She used to sit on my neck when she determined it was time for breakfast, but more recently she learned that gently clawing my shoulder was a more effective way to wake me (she would stop immediately, though, if I said "Ouch," even quietly). I would go to sleep at night thinking of how completely content I was with my little family. Sleeping has been the hardest thing since losing her, because at night I just can't quiet my mind. I see her face in the vet's office, eyes dilated wide and struggling to focus on us, her breathing labored, yet still she seemed happy to see us. And then I see her take her last breath, and I cry.
Although I don't believe in an afterlife, I do find some comfort in knowing that we gave her a good life, and that she was such a happy little girl. I just wish it had been a longer life.