Hitomi was often referred to as our little Princess. She demanded nothing but the best but had the gentle touch. At the age of 19.5 years old, she surpassed Cuddles as the longest cat I ever had. Given my age at her death, Hitomi has been with me for half of my life, and was with me through many life-events, including dating and marriage to my husband, to the purchase of my house, she was only a few months away from seeing the mortgage come to an end. She outlived numerous cats, one of which was younger then her.

Born in early June 2003, a concerned citizen brought in a mother cat and her kittens to the vet clinic. The mother and her kittens were too sick to save and were euthanized, except for one. Hitomi was the only healthy kitten in the litter, the clinic kept her as the 'clinic-cat' but also had her up for adoption. She was registered in the hospital database on June 30th and received her vaccinations.

In December, Bobby was sick with liver disease, treatment had little effect and he was humanly euthanized on the 10th. Bobby's brother Tubby did not seem to be keen on being an only cat despite the extra attention I gave him, so after a week of deliberation, I adopted the 'clinic-cat'. Officially she did not have a name, staff would sometime call her Moonbeam or Dreamer, but I named her Hitomi for her beautiful eyes. Hitomi being Japanese for 'Pupil of the Eye', which is the source of deeper wisdom and beauty.

As a kitten, Hitomi was a little terror. If it wasn't nailed down, she found a way to knock it over, including Yoko's rat cage. Any tight space was invaded and only the bribe of treats would get her out. Tubby did not have a reaction to Hitomi, he would simply sit or lay down, Hitomi found this strange because typically when two cats meet each other, they have to assert who is the dominate one and in charge of the territory. Tubby, given his size knew he was in charge regardless, and thus enacted no labor in demonstrating his position... because he knew he did not have to. Hitomi would give a hiss or two to seek a reaction, but never got any. She knew that he was a friend. When Tubby went missing in November 2006, Hitomi began to fret and search for him in around the apartment, when she finally became accustomed to his absence, Tubby was found! She had to relearn her position again, but it did not take long. Hitomi and Tubby were soul mates. Hitomi tried to befriend our rats too, but she got too close to Wonton, after hearing a scream coming from the bedroom, we ran in to see that Wonton bit her after she got too close, she did not bother the rats since. She also gave plausibility to the cat-weather myth, anytime Hitomi was on her back, there would be precipitation within 12 hours without fail.

In 2007, my husband (then boyfriend) bought our house, Hitomi and Tubby settled right in. She and Tubby always leaned on each other, literally as they always cuddled together. In May 2008 I adopted Sora and Susan from the SPCA. Hitomi wasn't too happy, but Tubby simply did the same as he did with her and did nothing, he presence told everyone he was the boss, and Hitomi was happy with that. The same happened when Vicky moved in during Fall of 2009. Tubby kept the order until his death on December 29th 2009. The order he kept in the house did not last long, about one month after his passing, Hitomi began to turn on the other cats and latched on to me. The house had a whole new routine to keep the cats separate. While at work Sora,Susan and Vicky would be downstairs while she upstairs, and while home the doors were open, and Hitom would lay around in the bedroom or computer room.

I began to wonder if Hitomi preferred a male cat for a friend seeing as she got along with Tubby so well. In March 2010, I adopted Stanley from the SPCA. Hitomi was indifferent at first, and seemed to warm up to him, but after a month, Hitomi continued with her Princess self, and said 'no' to him. We were already attached to Stanley, so we did not return him to the shelter, and he got along with the other cats, especially Susan, so we incorporated him into the daily routine of kitty-separation-roulette. Hitomi only wanted to be with me, she had to sleep in the bed with me and had her own special place in the corner of the bed next to my head, if something was in the way, all I had to do was remove it and Hitomi would walk right away to her spot. When my husband was gone away for work she would take his spot. Hitomi had her own litter pad, scratch post, food/water dishes and blanket in the master bedroom.

Bedtime, or anything that involved the bed was Hitomi's favorite time. She loved to cuddle with me, she would hug my arms with hers. Her morning habit was cleaning my eyebrows, if I shooed her away, she would return to lick my forehead or face. Hitomi always demanded attention in the morning, sometimes she would get restless and walk all over me in the early mornings. If I was checking anything on my cell phone, she would often headbutt or rub herself against the phone or tablet, as a way of telling me to put it down and give her attention. In winter we would camp out in the rec-room downstairs, I would have the sofa bed folded out and we watched TV all the time. If I was away in Alberta, Hitomi would stay with my parents and participate in Skype calls. There was one winter in which my parents tried to get 'custody' and did not want to give her back, but she was our Princess, and she returned home with me.

Overall Hitomi was a healthy cat, she has had some urine issues with crystals in her water that was treated, and she had a small infection that caused her to urinate in random places. In December 2015, Hitomi began to vomit and we notices a tiny sliver of tinsel. During that xmas she was in the rec-room while my husband and I were visiting his parents. We feared the worst so we took her to the vet and had an x-ray that wasn't conclusive, but still did not seem right. Emergency exploratory surgery was done to open her stomach and intestine, the doctor found a lot of redness and told me it was likely cancer, but would need to biopsy to confirm. I turned down the biopsy because if positive, nothing could be done, so the doctor closed her up and we kept her comfortable. Hitomi recovered from the surgery really well and continued to live on, which told us that she did not have cancer.

In June 2022 Hitomi turned 19. Typically when a cat reaches 15, they are doing really well, and 16-18 is less common. At 19 Hitomi still ruled the house and got her way. We began to call her 'granny-cat' at times because she was beginning to walk like one. I noticed that she did not eat as much dry food as normal, but at her age I figured that she could be finding her teeth or jaw, so I fed her some wet food everyday to make it easier on her. In September, I noticed that she began to drink a lot of water. I made an appointment to get blood work done suspecting kidney issues. On September 12th Hitomi became very picky with her food, I gave her recovery food from the vet and she ate it. After petting her I noticed a hard lump under her left jaw, so I knew blood work would not be needed and I knew that there was some discomfort in eating. On the 14th I gave her 'Lil soups' cat food. She licked some, but turned it down and did not eat anything at all after. I knew something was really wrong when she tried to lick my eyebrows, but did not seem to be able to, and rubbed her mouth on me instead.

On the 15th, I cancelled her regular appointment and took Hitomi to a walk-in clinic. I knew that she either had a tumor, or an infection... but I was siding with the tumor because I have never seen an abscess be so low on the face and be so hard. The doctor was very impressed with her health, citing a shiny coat, good breathing and healthy stomach and good temperature and temperament. I informed the doctor that given Hitomi's age, I would not be doing any harsh tests or biopsies. The doctor told me her educated guess was a tumor, but could still give antibiotics to cover other bases, plus medication for pain and increase her appetite. Keeping her comfortable was the priority, but I knew her time was coming to an end. The clinic loved her, they even gave Hitomi a free toy and goodie bag that included a blanked, leash, treat puzzle and a handkerchief.

Hitomi did really well for the first week, until the 24th. Hitomi was refusing food and was prescribed a stronger pain medication. The only food she ate on her own was temptations treats, her main meals was recovery food fed via a syringe 3 times a day. At first she resisted the feedings, but then accepted it as routine.

On October 2nd, Hitomi began to slow down. I could tell she was fighting hard. She continued to cuddle with me, almost obsessive. Her litter usage was irregular as was her water intake. On the 5th she barley drank at all and resisted the feedings, she was still aware of me and continued jump on the bed from her step to be with me. I could tell that Hitomi wasn't the kind of cat that would hide during her last days, she was the opposite. In the middle of the night she wrapped her arms around mine, and touched my cheek with her paw, just a gentle touch, not her silly pawing that she used to do. I could tell she was trying to tell me that it's ok, and that we did not have to fight this thing anymore. On October 6th, 9:50am, Hitomi was euthanized at the walk-in clinic. The tumor was larger and began to spread to the right side of her jaw, and there was a bad infection in her mouth. She was cremated on October 11th, and is now in her urn next to her soul mate: Tubby

Her passing was devastating to us, even though we knew we gave her the best life possible and she left the world in a peaceful and humane manner. During the entire relationship my husband and I have, there wasn't a time that Hitomi wasn't there. She was there during so many changes with our home and lives, and even technology. Her age could be seen in the footage taken of her with different cameras. He had other cats that went to the Rainbow Bridge some even younger then her, but Hitomi was always there, and it almost seemed as though she would always be.

Goodnight our little Princess. May you be reunited with Tubby. We love you and will never forget you.