We lost our little buddy one year ago today.

He was the sweetest animal I've ever known. The thing I remember most about him: you barely had to say two words to him, and he'd start purring loudly, probably followed by him flopping onto his back for fluffy belly rubs.

He was deeply loved for all of his fifteen years. I was around for eight of them, and they were wonderful. His patience and good nature made him a great first pet for me, and the love he had for us was pretty undeniable.

One event in particular stands out in my memories: my wife smashed her knee into a wall, yelping in pain. Zeus came tearing into the room to check on her, gingerly trying to take her leg in his teeth to carry her away from danger, as a cat would do with a kitten.

In his later years, Zeus began to suffer from hyperthyroidism and feline chronic renal failure. This was a long battle of frustration, going back and forth to the vet, taking blood tests to check levels, and adjusting medication to try to keep everything in check. We had to keep blankets on the couch to protect against the daily emesis; and let me tell you, giving a cat pills a couple of times a day isn't much fun. But it bought us several years with him, and it was all worth it.

Our home hasn't quite been the same since he left us. I don't know if we're quite ready yet to bring another animal into our lives, but I can't deny that there's a cat-shaped hole in my heart today.

I miss you, pokie. 🕯️