A great deal of what I know about love comes from being familiar with the loss of it. To stand at the end of love, look back, and still say that you wouldn't have change a thing even knowing the outcome.
To quote what I put on FB:
Upon arrival at WARL, he was separated from the rest of the cats and held in quarantine until they knew what his health looked like. On the second day of his quarantine, I wandered somewhere I wasn't supposed to be (rules are meant to be broken, eh?). As I walked past his cage, he reached through the bars and took a swipe at my ponytail.
My cat had chosen me.
I had to convince my then-landlord that declawing cats was wrong and then had to convince WARL that I was the right person. But the adoption coordinator knew it when he saw Spike in my arms.
In 12 years, Spike never let me forget that he was the one who chose me and not the other way around.
So in a way, Spike was always living on borrowed time [especially after nearly dying last year after an acute bout of pancreatitis]. As he got sick, I only had two questions that I asked of myself and at the vet: am I doing everything I can and is he in pain?
The chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, and renal failure were all too much too ask him to deal with, but he was a strong and brave kitty even til his last breath. His vet believes there may have been an underlying "diffuse cancer" (and perhaps a tumor that was compressing his other organs) that was making him uncomfortable. He would need round-the-clock care and fluids (his couldn't keep his blood sugar up). He wouldn't be able to come home.
So I did what I promised to him many months ago: I would find the courage to make the hardest decision I ever could. I would love him enough to let him go. I brought Jack with me in the hopes he could bring Spike comfort and so he could understand. And as his vet (and friend) injected the sedative and other drugs into his IV port, I held him close, tucked his head under my chin, and said the only thing I could: "I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you."
Even as he died, he was the most handsome beast I have ever had the privilege of loving.
After my nana and my mom died, I dealt with it by eating. I gained a ton of weight. And well... I've just had no appetite over the past few days. I know nothing will fill this empty hollow where there used to be Spike.