He played hide and seek with Steve, and would try to make Steve feel like he picked a good hiding spot even though Sunshine easily found him each time. But with me, he would get my attention and then run around before throwing himself on the floor and rolling over on his back. That was the signal that he wanted me to tickle him. I would say, “I’m going to get you, I’m going to get you Sunshine,” while pinching my fingers together above him. He would squirm around on the floor and then squawk like a little duck when I finally tickled him.
He would then bounce up like a tightly wound spring uncoiling, run around, and then throw himself on the floor again. It was our special time together, and my fondest memory of Sunshine. You see, he and I had a rocky start. He was living the good life with Steve until I decided to move in with George and Layla in tow. Not only did he now have to share his Dad, but he also had to share his litter box, his bed, and his food! There were many nights I would wake up to find Sunshine sitting on my chest staring at me. I knew he was asking me what the hell I thought I was doing in his spot and when I was leaving and taking the other two fur balls with me. It took a few months, but he finally came around to the idea of us all living together. We became best buds, but Steve was always the twinkle in his eye.
I was stunned and speechless. I tried to pull on my brave girl pants for Steve because I could see that he was crumbling. I felt as though I was having an outer body experience and that my mind wasn’t connected anymore as we moved forward with euthanasia. We decided we wouldn’t be able to handle seeing him put to sleep, and asked they perform the procedure without us, but would like to say goodbye to him. The vet wheeled Sunshine back into the examining room on a cart, with a towel covering his legs, for us to say our goodbyes. We told him how much we loved him and how special he was to us before they took him away. To this day, I regret not being in the room with him as he went to sleep. He looked so scared. I was frightened for him. I should have been the one holding him and comforting him as he passed out of this life.
Three years have passed since Sunshine left this world. His memories are still, and will most likely remain, as vivid as those joyful days. I am thankful to have been given the chance to create a special bond with him. He still wasn’t that fond of George at the end, but at least he learned to love Layla. And I am thankful for all of the love that he showed me and for teaching me that, even though we can’t speak the same language, we can find a way to communicate and create a bond. I will always miss my little man.