Rest in peace, Monkey.
17 years ago, during a heatwave, you found your way to my door.
Only a few months old, abandoned, you were surviving in the canyon dodging coyotes
and eating lizards.
On the front porch I gave you milk, cereal and turkey. You looked feral, fur matted, bones protruding.
You ate and went away.
The next day I heard your sweet meows as you wandered through the french doors.
The house became your kingdom.
You sized up everyone who came through the door.
At parties, you liked the spotlight
and would let me know if you weren't getting enough attention.
You followed me from room to room like a dog.
And yet you were incredibly independent
roaming the canyon for hours, sometimes days, before returning home with dirty paws.
You befriended the neighbors.
They would knock on the door and tell me stories.
One women who took daily walks past the house with her dog was particularly fond of you.
On the afternoon she returned home after putting her dog down she found you on her back porch.
She was devastated, and you came in and comforted her.
You would often come home smelling like perfume, and I knew others were feeding you.
I gave you your independence, and you gave me mine.
You seized my heart
with your little black nose and expressions.
You were never bashful asking for a little loving.
If you weren't getting enough
You would grab my hand with your paw.
Your favorite place to be scratched was under your neck.
You always made me laugh.
I didn't always love your presents as much as you wanted me to,
especially when you brought them to me still alive
and I'd have to listen to you kill them.
This earned you the nick name Killer.
I will miss you standing on your hind legs, scratching on the glass doors to be let in.
I will miss you waking me up at 6am to be fed.
I will miss curling up next to you as I sleep.
I will miss you licking my dish after dinner.
I will miss you.
I'm sorry I wasn't with you when you died.
I always thought I'd be holding you, looking into your soulful eyes.
I can't imagine returning home and you not being there.
My little purr machine.
My Monkey doodle head.
My little puddy bear.