by Shannon Bisone
Since I was little, I have always been an animal lover, and always dreamed of having a cat. On my 12th birthday, my parents surprised me with a kitten I had been begging for all week at my Mom's family's farm. I was born on July 4th, so I named her Sparkler after that day.
She was an adorable and energetic kitten, and loved playing with our chocolate lab, Hershey. they would even sleep together. After Hershey passed away, Sparkler and I became even more attached. Since she was a kitten, she slept at the foot of my bed and I always felt like she was protecting me. She'd follow me everywhere and when I was crying she'd somehow know and be by my side. She'd lick my tears away and sit in my lap and just let me hold her. There will never be a person or animal who could comfort me as well as she could.
Summer after 4th grade my family moved to New Jersey. Sparkler was my friend when I didn't know any one yet. And when I met my neighbor who was my age, the first thing we did was make a cat box for her. I wanted her to have a friend, so I ended up getting her a little brother who was a kitten born from a stray cat who lived in my Grandma's neighborhood. We named him Tiger and he drove her crazy. but at the end of the day, they'd both sleep at the foot of my bed. I loved Tiger, but he couldn't compare to her.
Every morning I'd walk down my long driveway and cross the street and wait for the bus, and every morning Sparkler would follow me and wait with me until I got on the bus. She was always really good with cars. It was September 11, 2007. We both walked to the bus stop just like always, but I had a feeling something was wrong. I didn't know what it was, but I just remember holding her even longer to say goodbye and telling her I loved her so much. Another girl at my bus stop who also loved cats was kissing her and being extra sweet that day.
I could see the bus coming down the street, so it would pick us up in about 3 minutes. A car from the other way started coming towards us, and for some reason Sparkler got scared. She ran across the road trying to beat the car. At first I thought she made it and I felt relief, but then I heard the sound of her body get hit by the wheels of the car, and I watched her fly up over the car and land on the street. I can remember that image perfectly even today, three years later.
The man got out of the car, and asked if I was okay, because I had fallen onto my knees sobbing and I guess he thought he had hurt me. A girl at the bus stop said that I'm fine, and he just drove away, like my cat didn't matter. I was in denial, so I walked over and hoped she somehow survived and was going to be okay, but... she was dead.
I can't even explain that feeling of losing her. She was my best friend, my baby, someone I could always trust and I will never forget her. When I'm having a bad day, I wish she could be here to comfort me. But as weird as it sounds, I feel like she's always watching me to make sure I'm okay. I love you Sparkler.
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