A few things about Twinkle I decided I should record while it's still in my mind to do so.
I guess it was right around this time last year I was writing about Twinkle as a being, regarding her struggle to come to terms with how doors—in particular, the bathroom door—worked. You know, she never did figure that out... not in the old place, and not in the new one. Applying minor force to rotate a piece of wood around greased hinges was a concept that eluded her her whole life, bless her little heart.
But she was smart in other ways. When she got sick, but before I recognized it as illness, she took to hiding. Twinkle being Twinkle, I didn't take that as a sign she wasn't well. She tended to be more of a loner than the other cats and I simply took it she was amusing herself by finding clever places the rest of us couldn't find her. Still, I didn't like the idea she might be stuck someplace, in a box or closet she couldn't get out of, and I would look for her and call her name. I'm not sure which day it was, but once in my search, I came around the corner into the dining room and she stood and meowed to me from the bottom shelf of the wardrobe. It was a display of understanding, affection, and concern that still moves me. She understood I was looking for her, and she volunteered to let me know she was alright. She grasped all that, and she cared enough to respond. The thing that makes it kind of blue is that two shelves up, that's where her ashes now rest in an urn.
It was probably the Thursday before the Friday I first took her to the vet that she behaved in a very uncharacteristic manner. She leapt up onto the back of my chair and laid down behind me, putting her tail around my left shoulder. She seemed to cough and sneeze a little, and at one point, threw up a little of what looked like green phlegm. Again, I wasn't overly concerned. Cats cough stuff up all the time, and I took it to be a sign she had a cold or a flu or something. I remember that just before Jenny (a cat I had from 1989 to 2002) died, she came and laid at my feet, something she'd never done before. I wonder if Twinkle was saying something like good-bye, I love you, or maybe just, gee, I don't feel like myself, but being near you is a comfort. I don't know. I don't really think cats understand the concept of death, particularly their own. But she clearly wasn't well by then, and I wonder what exactly was on her mind.