I'm not really in mourning, although I feel like I should be. To be honest, it's felt like I've been in mourning for months already. She'd been on her last legs for the past year, and had only gotten worse in recent months. She hardly ate. She could barely hop down from the futon to the floor (about half a foot) without her legs collapsing under her. And although fur made it less obvious to the eye, you could feel every bump of her vertebrae as you petted her. She'd gotten particularly bad in the past couple of weeks—we had to hurry to feed her if she wandered into the kitchen for food, because if we took too long she'd forget was she was there for and wander off (she wouldn't eat anything that was already set out for her—she had to see it get put down so she'd know it was fresh).
Just looking at her was a reminder that it might be the last time I'd see her alive. When I saw her sleeping, I'd pet her, not just to be comforting, but to hopefully prompt her to move a bit and prove that she wasn't sleeping the big sleep yet.
And now she's gone. The little hut I made for her out of a wicker side table, a blanket, and a pillow, has been removed from the spot next to the heater vent and disassembled into its components. There is no plastic "Meow" mat under the kitchen table, and no bowls of cat food and water. There is no meowing voice begging for the leftover milk from my cereal bowl in the morning, and no little warm body to sleep next to me and slowly push me out of bed.
She always preferred to drink out of the vase on my mother's bedside table. She'd rarely drink out of her own bowl. My mom would make sure the vase was always topped off, because if it wasn't Prinny would push her head in too far and knock it over.
Her winter "hot box", from last year. It was right in front of a heater vent next to my desk, so it'd get very warm and comfy inside.
And now I'm starting to cry...