For Sawyer

They told us he was born Sept. 12th. Course, we didn't know that until after we'd made the trek to the 24hr animal hospital to get him looked at. That's how Sawyer started his life with us.

Actually, he started his life with us with gunk on his eyes in a ratty, old box. He was little and dirty, but he was friendly and talkative.

Back to the animal hospital. When we left there with him, everything seemed like it was gonna be okay. Denna was a little hesitant to fully embrace Sawyer, especially after Marion's passing. When we got home, Sawyer had taken a turn for the worst. His mouth was open and he couldn't hold his head up. Thankfully, I called the vet we'd just seen and they told us to rush him over. 12 hours later, Sawyer was as good as new. In fact, he was better than new. He was walking, talking and playing.

Sawyer was one of the most original animals I'd ever owned. He loved giving kisses. He wasn't weened properly, so he would always suck the toes on his left, back foot. That's how you knew he was going to sleep. After suckling for about 20 minutes, he was usually out.

We were always fearful that something would happen to him. Especially with that one eye of his: kinda washed over, with a growth on one side that would flare up and spew puss from it. But once we'd hit him with the eye medicine, it would clear up and you could almost see his eye. Almost.

For the most part, Sawyer was a sweet, sweet boy. He had his times when he'd just be on a tear through the house. Bounding from the couch to the chairs, next to it, along the wall. At night, when I'd come out to get a glass of water, he'd hear the door open and jump to the chair closest to the entrance to the hallway. He'd poke his head around the corner and give me a crazy look before he'd leap from the chair and run into the kitchen where he'd wait for me and meow.

He meowed a lot. He meowed when you'd be in the kitchen washing dishes. He could have a full bowl of water and food and he'd still sit there and whine at you until you pretended to put more water or food in his bowl. Then he'd be happy. For a few minutes. Then back to the meowing. He always crossed your path when you'd walk through the house. Good goddamnit I hated that. I once picked him up with my foot as I took a step and I flung him across the linoleum and onto the runner in the kitchen.

And when we'd get home, he'd be perched on the edge of the couch to give you a kiss and to get some love from us as we all walked through the door. Denna taught him to give kisses and you could always tell when he was feeling particularly loving. When we did have to discipline him, he would come to me after and be loving and lick me and kiss me. Like he was apologizing for something. Now, I'm not trying to martyr the boy cause that cat was an asshole too. I have the scars to prove it.

He was particular on who he let pick him up. My brother, Mom and a close family friend all tried and he'd just get mad. He was very much a Cordero. His personality was very much like Denna's and very much my own with healthy, generous splashes of Sawyer. Even his name was unique: James Sawyer Ford Cordero. Although his tag only said "Sawyer C".

I won't lie to you. I've been crying all damn day long. Every time I stop to think of him and something goofy he did, I smile and it is soon followed by the quivering lip and promptly by a river of tears. In the car, I screamed for him not to die. I cried and screamed and Denna forced me to pull over and get my shit together. But I couldn't. My Mom was the one who woke up and found him having trouble.

Denna tells me not to feel responsible. And I know that there was nothing either one of us could have done to save him. But I think about if we could have gotten him to the vet in time and I feel like I didn't do all I could. I know that's wrong, but when the tears start, it just feels like I didn't protect my furry, loony little son. If only's have been examined all day long, but there's no use. None of it matters now. What matters is picking up the pieces and moving on with our lives. This time, though, we won't be filling that void both Sawyer and Marion left behind. And until we can all feel more sane and not so sad, I'm going to temporarily remove his pictures from all the places they reside. It's not cause I don't love him. I just cry every fucking time. Like now. I'm sitting in the living room typing and crying because the house is so quiet without him. No more coming home to find him waiting for us. No more meowing in the kitchen. That goofy bastard followed us into the bathroom when we showered he'd stand outside the shower, meowing to be let in. He'd get between the shower curtain and the liner and walk back and forth along the bathtub trying to figure out a way to lick you or drink the water. Sometimes we'd just grab him and put him in the shower with us, protecting him from the water stream. He'd drink some and then jump out, but stand outside again to meow.

He would have died had we not answered that Craigslist ad for the kitten. The two little dimwit's who found him didn't know how to take care of him. He would have died that same day. He crew up strong and funny and proud and loving. Sometimes we think about all the things that Marion never got to do and we are sad. And given how much time we had with Sawyer, he got to do a lot. He got to experience Thanksgiving and Christmas and to feel love from the entire family. Maybe he didn't get along with everyone, but he loved Denna, Thomas and I. We're going to tell Thomas that my parents adopted him because Denna's allergies were getting to bad for us to keep him.

Denna spoke to a friend of ours, Cheryl, and she has had similar luck with baby kittens. Cheryl had told Denna she had sworn off adopting babies because they have all died on her. I don't want to adopt a cat anymore. No one will ever compare to Sawyer.

I don't have a doubt this entire week will test my ability to keep my shit together when thoughts of Sawyer pop into my head. I'm struggling to not break into tears right now. Denna said something that made me both smile and cry: "You know, wherever he is now, he can see with both his little eyes." I know he's in a better place now. But it doesn't change the fact that I wish he was here now. With me. With us.

Sawyer, my baby boy, my sweet, sweet kitten. I miss you so much and I'm sorry I couldn't save you. I was your, daddy and that was my job. I won't blame myself cause you won't let me. But I still want to say that I'm sorry. And I hope that you'll wait for us to be together again someday.

We love you so much, Sawyer and we're so sad that you're gone. Good night, my sweet angel.



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