28 April 2010 – 17 May 2010

Dear Mochi,

I can't believe you're gone. Damn it, last night I was playing with you, holding you, stroking you, trying to squirt little bits of milk into your mouth even though you struggled and didn't want it, because we wanted you to be a healthy little kitten. But now you're gone, and I'll never hold your tiny body in my hands again. And every time I see that photo of your wide eyes taking in the world, I just lose it.

You and your brother were so tiny when you started out. We were so worried. And then it got worse when your mother couldn't feed you, and she had to spend the night in the hospital. We had to make sure you stayed warm, and we had to feed you milk every couple of hours. I must have fed you a hundred times in your short life, and I wish I could keep on doing it.

At first you were often limp and weak. Even as you finally started to get stronger, you were so much smaller than your brother, even though you managed to open up your wide eyes long before he did. And your little butt was so sore, you must have been in pain. But after you fussed during feeding, and we held you close and caressed your soft cheek, you would purr your tiny little purr—nothing more than a few clicks, but at least we knew you were happy.

When I heard you died, I was shocked. I drove to Corvallis, pissed off with all the drivers in my way, driving at high speed, hoping it was all some sort of perverse joke. But when I saw you, wrapped up in that blue cloth, laying lifeless, it hit me hard. A lot harder than I thought it would. You had a hard, short life, little one. I just sat there and stroked your lifeless little body, for what must have been a long time. Then I just wanted to give you a proper little burial right away, so you could be at rest, and maybe there wouldn't be such a big hole in my heart. But there still is.

I hope you're someplace nice now, Mochi. You were so sweet and calm and curious and silly. I wish you were here. I wish I could see you wake up and bobble around and lose your balance and roll onto your back and expose your Buddha belly for everyone to see. I can't believe you're gone.

Oscar on top, Mochi on bottom (4/29, 10:07 pm)

(4/29, 10:42 pm)

Mochi left, Oscar right (5/1, 11:29 am)

Mochi feeding from a 3 mL syringe (5/2, 1:57 pm)

Mochi still sucking even after the syringe is gone (5/1, 7:53 pm)

(5/1, 7:54 pm)

Her eyes opened up long before Oscar's (5/7, 12:33 am)

Oscar left, Mochi right (5/8, 8:53 pm)

Mochi complaining (5/9, 6:21 pm)

Mochi was growing so much more slowly than Oscar (5/11, 10:33 pm)

Two nights before, she was fine (5/16, 2:32 am)

Jaundiced from sudden liver failure (5/17, 6:38 pm)

She looks like a little ghost (5/17, 7:09 pm)

Rest in peace, Mochi, you were a sweet kitten (5/17, 7:12 pm)