I just needed a place to share Ohno's life. Warm words of support are welcome (and needed).
Ohno showed up on my mom's porch as a fully grown orange tomcat. She named him "Ohno" because she already had four cats and didn't really want another one. Because he was big and initially unneutered the other cats would pick on him. He was twice their size, but never fought back. I wanted a cat and he needed a home of his own and so we were matched. Ohno wasn't a lap cat but he liked to be close. In the early years before I got his brother, he would wait by the door when I left and be there waiting still when I would get home. Wherever I sat, he would sit right next to me. It used to drive my partner crazy that every time he got up, Ohno would steal his seat. He liked little toy mousies. He would pick them up by their tail and throw them in the air and chase them. He liked string but he was kind of lazy and would only chase it if it was within paw's reach. He was a bit of a piggy. He would sit next to me while I ate and stretch out his paw place it on my hand and looking at me hopefully. He never used his claws. He would eat all kinds of things cats don't usually eat like popcorn and edamame. He liked to talk to me. He would meow in response to questions that I would ask him. He always responded to "Are you a good boy?" I had all kinds of nicknames for him, baby piggy, baby pumpkin, snuggleupigus, stinky Ohno. When he got older and became diabetic I would call him Wilford Brimley, or "Brims" for short. He was so tolerant of his shots. I think I was more freaked out by them than he was; he never really even seemed to notice. He was an expensive cat. Between figuring out the insulin dose, and an episode where he became hypoglycemic, and then having to remove a toe because there was growth on it, and then everything that happened at the end, I spent really more money than I had on him. But I did it without hesitation. I got Ohno when I was 19, so I have basically spent my whole adult life with him. Roommates and partners came and went, but Ohno was my constant. There was a period of time in which I was really depressed and he was the only thing that got me out of bed. He was there when I quit drinking, happy to keep me company at home while I figured out how people who didn't go out drink spent their time. We got to spend 13 years together. If God had told me he was going to give me the most amazing, loving, and attentive cat but I'd only get to keep him for 13 years before he wanted him back, I would have made that deal. And I guess I did. The end came too quickly and not quickly enough. As a final blessing, there was a service that came to the house and he got to fall asleep forever in his favorite chair while I whispered to him how much I loved him and how he was such a good kitty. I miss him so much it physically hurts sometimes. I know that I am in the thick of my grief, but I cry almost every day when I come home and he isn't here to greet me. I don't know if I will ever have a buddy as attuned and connected to me as Ohno was. I know that I will always have cats and they will all be special in their own way, but there will never be another Ohno, and right now that just crushes me.