Nine years is a lifetime.
Nine years of waking up because someone depends on you. Someone is waiting for you, and needs you.
Nine years with the same routine... the same day to day order and structure.
Today was different.
There was no low beating of your tail against the leather furniture at 5am.
There was no "yoga stretch", as you yawned and greeted me to let you out to survey your yard, and neighbourhood. No whimpering at the door to let you in once you realized we were all safe. No rush for the warm spot on the couch.
I didn't have to feed you this morning, and coax you to eat with a warning of "You better eat it...!" like every morning since your partner left.
I didn't have you following me through the kitchen, begging for the leftover popcorn from last night's snack - a sad snack in itself, as you were not there to share it with.
All of these things I didn't really take for granted, and yet - I just expected there would always be more. More than 9 years. More than just a Monday. More dog hair. And muddy feet in the kitchen. More kleenex shredded from the bathroom garbage, and that crazy smile you had when greeting me.
I am lost. And my heart lurches every time it replays your last moments. Our last moments.
My friend, you have no idea what you gave me in my life. I can never explain what it felt like to have you. And there is a hole in my heart that will never be able to be filled.
Rest easy my beautiful Tikka.