Ever since I was little I've been surrounded by animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, fish, I've had them all. No other pet has ever made as big of an impact on me as my first cat, Sassy. We got her as a little two-month-old kitten when I was around two years old. I can't remember life before her and losing her my senior year of high school was one of the worst feelings I've ever experienced.

I grew up with her and she was my best friend. It's been almost a year since she's passed and in celebration of her long life, I wrote her a letter.

Dear Sassy,

It's been almost a year since you left me and I still cry every time I think about you. Some people think it's silly to get so emotional over a cat but they don't understand that we grew up together and I always imagined bringing you to college with me. It's gotten easier to talk to people about you and I can't help but laugh when I think about all the times you got yourself into trouble.

I remember when you somehow managed to sneak outside and jump back in through a window, or getting your foot stuck in a plastic bag and ran around trying to get it off. I remember the time you caught a mouse and brought it to me causing my mom to scream louder than I ever remember. You were always so mean to the dogs and they considered you the alpha of the pack. Nobody could boss you around though you were the smallest of the group.

As you got older you got more and needier, always waking me up at night for attention and biting my hand when you had enough. You always knew when I was upset and would curl up on my chest to help me feel better. I couldn't sleep if you weren't in bed with me because you were my little cuddle bug. Your constant presence was always so comforting to me, even if you did always try to steal my Cheetos.

It's hard to express in words how much you mean to me but sometimes I feel your absence like a stab to the heart. I have another cat now who reminds me a lot of you but no animal will ever mean the same to me as you do. I hope you're happy in heaven and I know I'll see you again someday, but that doesn't feel the void of your missing presence. I love you.

Love, your still grieving owner