It feels like we have been grieving Streak for a long time. It started in November of 09 when he had these weird screaming fits, and then, of course, went into high gear last fall when we found out he was sick. And to be fair, I have been grieving Streak since we lost Alafair--or to be more accurate, I don't think I have ever stopped grieving her loss.
Going through this with Streak brought all of that back out, but I think we both wonder if this is not a good thing. Losing Alafair was so painful. It was so sudden and also filled with such frustration with our vet (we since changed vets), and also with the helplessness of trying to give her some assistance.
Not that losing Streak has been easy. It has been awful. But we have already been able to look at his pictures and think about good times. He found us--as SOF likes to say, he "adopted me" one summer 14 years ago when he just appeared under our front tree. For whatever reason, he chose me, and connected to me from the very beginning. In fact, early on, we realized that Streak saw me clearly as the #1 in the pack while he saw SOF as #3 or #4. :)
I always thought that Alafair was "all in" with her love for all of us--and that included Streak. Her entire body changed when she saw us, and she loved just being with us. Streak, on the other hand, was so fiercely loyal. We used to say that he was our little "guard dog." In the backyard, he would run a regular circuit to check the perimeter, then would often take up a position with his back to us, looking out for threats. We got to tell him Thursday morning that we were letting him off guard duty, because we were pretty sure he wasn't going to stand down until his body simply failed. We had to let him go.
He was so smart, and so good, and so loyal and so devoted. And while I miss him so terribly, I also know he lived a good life. He was loved and he knew it. He loved and we knew that too. He completed his appointed task. I am often unsure about what happens after this life, but it is my sincere hope that Streak is reconnected with his friend Alafair. They loved each other so much. I remember a friend saying that his favorite image of heaven was a place where we got to reconnect with our animals. I would be good with that.
Farewell my sweet friend. You will never be far from my heart.