That's how long we had our black/white long-haired cat Zoey. She was the first pet Shawn ever had. We adopted her at an animal shelter in Milwaukee. She travelled back and forth to Iowa with us many times. She lived with us in our duplex in Ankeny for a year. She moved with us into our first house. She welcomed all three of our kids home. We always gave her one of their newborn caps to sniff before we brought them home so she knew they were one of us. She was a fiercely loyal cat and hissed at and distrusted anyone but us. She loved to sit on my lap, especially if I had a blanket on it, and purr like a motorcycle engine. Every single morning she greeted me as soon as I opened the bedroom door and waited for me to turn on the bathtub faucet so she could get a drink. She followed me around even though I rarely made time for her these last few years. She was a good cat.
And last week, she mysteriously disappeared.
We've looked for her, called the shelters, searched every nook and cranny in the house. After a week of searching, we have sadly decided to declare her gone for good.
Mazy and Shawn are taking the news particularly hard. She was old, but you wouldn't have known it to see her. She was as fast and agile as she was 14 years ago. She often prowls around our backyard, but she always returns within a few hours. None of us remembers her getting out of the house, but she must have slipped out in the bustle of our hectic mornings. We like to think that she knew her time was coming and went off to fall asleep one last time in the sunshine with the birds chirping around her and the squirrels running by.
So long, Zoey. We miss you dearly little friend.