Banky, my beloved little black cat, left this world this morning. Banklyn McFranklin, as he was known by those who loved him, would have been 16 on September 1.
He was old, and he has been sick for some time, so I knew this day was coming. That still doesn’t mean I was prepared for it.
I knew early this morning that today would most likely be my last day with my loyal sidekick. The way he was acting, and refusing to eat or drink, told me all I needed to know. Right before we left for the vet, I cradled Banky in my arms, and did one last walk through the House on the Hill for him.
I told him the story of the day we brought him home. How that kid outside the grocery store with the box of kittens pestered me until I agreed to take the adorable little black ball of fur. I reminded Banky how we bonded on that first day by watching football together as he curled up in my lap, and purred like a tiny purr ball.
I also told him the story of the day we arrived at The House on the Hill. Banky and his sisters ran up and down the stairs all day. Our apartment in California had been only one floor, so the kitties had never seen a staircase or realized how much fun one could be.
When we drove to the vet, I reminded Banky of how we used to take him for drives when he was a kitten. He would stand in my lap, with his paws on the dashboard, as my ex-wife drove. He loved to watch the road ahead and the passing vehicles.
I told him over and over again how much I loved him as we waited for the vet. We both knew he wouldn’t be going back to The House on the Hill with me, but I kept praying for a miracle and reassuring Banky that I loved him as I petted him.
I haven’t stopped crying since the vet gave me the form to sign. I came home and threw out all the kitty stuff I could find because I feared the mere sight of it would set me off.
The Girl Who Also Adored Banky has been texting me all morning to try to calm me. She even called me right before she went in to take a test because she was so worried about me. Even her soothing voice could not calm me.
Banky was not a fan of people. He liked to hide in the bedroom if anyone ever came to the door, or Zeus forbid, dared to come inside The House on the Hill. But The Girl was someone he accepted. He’d come out for her, let her pet him, and would sit in her lap.
I made sure Banky knew that she loved him, too.
I just got back from picking up Chinese food and ice cream. Thought I’d mourn Banky’s passing with comfort food, since I no longer have my little black cat to sit in my lap and comfort me.
I love you, Banky. Thank you for looking after me for all these years…