Snowy, our 16- or 17-year-old cat, passed away today. She had begun fading about two months ago, so we knew this day was coming. Doesn’t make it easier. I’ll miss the days when I’d walk into the kitchen around noon, and yell “Scooby Snack.” The dogs would come running for their lunch. Snowy, usually hanging out at Miiko’s office at the other end of the house, would trail behind. She knew Scooby Snack meant it was lunch time, too. So she’d hop up a step ladder and onto the small kitchen counter space between our refrigerator and cupboard, her private eating place, and wait patiently to be fed.

I’ll miss the days late at night, when I’d go to bed, and she’d jump on the bed, too, and climb on my chest, and demand to be petted. So I’d pet her for a bit and when I drifted off to sleep, she’d climb off and curl up close by.

One thing about Snowy. She knew how to tell you she was pissed off. I think we had been traveling a lot at one point. And she didn’t like it, so when we returned, she peed on my trusty Eagle Creek travel backpack that had been with me forever — multiple trips through Asia. Parts of Europe. Lots of camping and rock climbing trips in the U.S. I loved that bag. I washed it three times in the washer, but her pee was so potent, I had to toss it. It took me a few years, but I think I finally got over it.

Anyway, Snowy was the original out of our zoo of five animals. She probably didn’t like it when we picked up three dogs and another cat, but she adapted. During the past week, she was immobile. But on Thanksgiving, she had this amazing moment of clarity. When we all gathered for Thanksgiving dinner, she hopped off the family room sofa, walked into the dining room and jumped on the chair next to Miiko. For one last time, Snowy wanted to hang out and have dinner with us. So we fed her turkey. Lots of it. For that brief moment, she was energetic. Everything was the same again. Everything was OK again. It was a very cool moment to have.

I’ve always considered myself a dog person. But the very fact that I’ve written this, I now realize I’m a cat person, too. Goodbye, Snow Girl.