Walking home in the rain. Pushing the old frame of the old pet stroller. The empty cat carrier sitting where the stroller cage used to sit. The rain hiding my tears. The cat I left behind. Just shy of turning Fifteen. The one who put her paw on my shoulder when I got distracted. Telling my friend on the phone about all the options I had. That eleven month old scrawny orange kitten. Her paw on my shoulder, telling me: "I choose you." My heart was stolen that day. Most of the first year was her being skittish. She grew to trust me. Only me. We moved around. Three places in Chicago. Two here in Portland. I swore I would never leave her behind. I was her human. I always will be. Even as I kissed her goodbye last night. No more pain, baby girl. No more pain.