Charlotte, a Brazilian cat, by Vanessa Araujo

I’d always, always wanted a cat since I was a little kid. We had a dog but he wasn’t my responsibility. He wasn’t mine.

In 2013 I saw you under a car, you had little oil stains on your white fur. You were perfect, I loved you right away. I brought you home and told my mother that I was going to feed you, I was going to take you to the vet, I was going to bathe you. Because you were mine, my daughter, my baby. I’ve done all this a thousand times.

I brought you to the US by plane, I was so nervous because you had to go in the luggage. Even though the vet told me it was quieter and calmer for both of you, I could barely breathe until I got you back to Miami.

But it all worked out, and you and Oliver were my family here. A lonely, strange, and difficult place. Several changes, several states. The only constant was my four-legged family, my children. Unconditional love.

Two weeks ago, I woke up and you were in my arms like you slept every day, but it wasn’t you anymore. It was the worst moment ever. I relive it all the time asking myself why you, why me, why now? I don’t understand. Everything was normal, exams, behavior, everything was normal.

My world came crashing down, really. I can’t describe such pain and how much I miss you. I love you very, very much and I will carry you forever in my heart. My little baby, my firstborn.

You slept in my arms and in my arms you passed. Thank you for choosing me that night in 2013 – and every day for 10 years. You loved me dearly and I love you forever, Charlotte, my princess.

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