My friend Roberta sent me this email with a graphic:
The timing was right near when I'd found Tucker, and I was inspired to write him a letter and submit it. Here is what I wrote, followed by the two photos.
When you came into my life, in October 1998 at age four months, I was in a low place. My marriage was breaking up and my life was crumbling around me. For months, you were the reason I got out of bed. Your antics made me smile through the tears as we got to know each other.
Who would have guessed all that would have happened in the next 15 years? Your health scares, from bladder surgery, pneumonia, and pancreatitis, though costly, were repaid in full as you slept next to me, even in your weakest state.
We've moved, you've adjusted (well, sort of) to two more cats in the household, and one husband. You've grown to love that husband nearly as much as you love me, and it touches my heart to see you together.
I know what you want or need when you sit next to me. My daily routine includes you in many subtle ways, from opening the bathroom door when I'm finished showering or letting you sit on "your" side of the couch.
When you slipped out of the house on that November evening, I thought our time together was over. I cried more for you than I have for the loss of any human. It seemed unfair that 15 years could end so abruptly. . .but then I found you in a dark alley 11 days later and rejoiced to be reunited. I thanked God I saw those familiar round eyes and heard your distinctive raspy meow.
It doesn't matter how much time we have left together. I will treasure each and every day. I love you always, Tucker-kitty.