It’s 4am. I’m sitting in bed, trying my damnedest to fall asleep, but I know it’s not going to happen. My cat, one of two remaining geriatric animals in my home, is sleeping in a chair beside me. She hasn’t left my side except to eat and wander around the house, crying out for attention. I can’t help but feel shame for thinking that the decay-smelling lamentations are a poor substitute for the playful chirps that used to fill my home. Those were the meows of her daughter, Holly. But I’ll never hear those sounds again, because on May 27th, without sign or warning, she died.