In Memory of Nicky McNeely

Sixteen years ago, I got a surprise birthday gift. A tiny six week old black kitten with big bright eyes and a big loud voice! At that time I wasn’t even sure I wanted a pet, but after spending only a few hours with Nicky my mind was changed. She had easily stolen my heart. Through the years Nick and I got to know each other pretty well. She was always a big “talker” and had lots of different voices, each with their own meaning. I came to understand which one meant food, which one meant attention, and which was just a “hello.”

I loved that she wasn’t aloof like I always thought cats were supposed to be. Nick was like most cats about some things, however. She loved to be brushed, and would even try to brush herself when I was doing it. She liked to watch birds and I set up a bird feeder for her to look at from the sunroom. (Half of the time squirrels were in the bird feeder, but she liked to watch them too.

Like most animals, she liked to play with paper bags and boxes and milk top rings much more than her toys. She was also helpful around the house, being my little “exterminator” who got rid of spiders for me.

She had her comforting side, like when I was ill for almost a year with breast cancer and she watched TV with me and kept me company when I didn’t have any energy. It is hard to say good bye to my buddy. For sixteen years I was so lucky to have had her in my life. And I will always be lucky because I received the kind of unconditional love and friendship that only a pet can really bring.

I lost a very special friend
the kind I can’t replace,
and sitting in our empty home
I still can see your face.

I miss how you’d greet me
when I’d open the door,
You always had a meow to say hello
Not the typical cat who ignores

I remember you sitting with me
When cancer made me so sick
My friend who seemed to understand
My little buddy Nick

And as these years have gone by
and we developed our unbreakable bond
I never noticed you slowing down
You always seemed so strong

I could only see your energy
and your big bright yellow eyes,
Not the tired, fragile friend
Who had to say goodbye.

It’s going to be a struggle
To get up and face each day
You are not physically with me
But in my heart you’ll always stay.

I love you Nick, and I’ll never forget you.

-Love A.