If I had to name the one single best thing that's happened to me so far in my entire life, I'd say it was adopting Hypatia. She's my first cat. We adopted her as a family -- we actually picked her out (or she picked us out) on my brother's birthday -- but it wasn't long before she and I were joined at the hip, and my parents gave up calling her the family cat... she became my cat, and I'm her human.
In winter 2007 she got really, really, really sick. Even our vet had no clue what was going on with her. She wouldn't eat, she hid under the bed all day long, she stopped grooming and wouldn't drink. We took her out of state for a special feline ultrasound, had numerous blood tests, x-rays and countless examinations. Our vet was at his wit's end when my dad asked the question that saved her life... what if it's not her stomach? What if she's not eating because her mouth hurts? How none of us had thought of it before, I have no idea. But that was it.
In February of 2008, I never would have believed that she'd be here to celebrate our 4th anniversary. She's still not in the best of health -- she had to have all but four of her teeth pulled because of gingivitis, and still has to get monthly shots and daily medicine -- but she's here. She drools like mad, sneezes on my face while I'm sleeping, needs to be shaved every couple months because she doesn't groom herself, and sometimes she kind of smells. But as my family can attest, she could probably pee on my pillow every night and I'd still think she was the best thing since sliced bread. I love her so much it's ridiculous.
She's sweet. If I'm crying downstairs, she comes over and puts her paws on my lap and meows at me until I stop and smile. She follows me around so much that her nickname is "shadow." I feel guilty when I have to go up and down the stairs a few times in a row, because she runs along after me, up and down.. up and down. I see her adorable little face each morning when I open my eyes, and it's the last thing I see each night when I go to sleep. And I know it sounds crazy, but she looks at me like I'm her favorite thing in the world. I hope she understands that the look I return is saying the same thing.