My youngest cat died today. She was with me for little more than a year. I adopted her knowing she had feline leukemia and that her life would likely be short (but not that short!). She was a sweet soul, loving and playful and full of purr, and I miss her terribly. So here’s to my little black cat companion, India (short for India Ink) — pure black fur, five single strands of white hiding on her chest; a long lithe body that pounced and played, an exotic Egyptian-looking face, yellow eyes that glowed in the dark (and were sometimes the only way I could find her !). She was wise and smart, friendly but careful, quick to defend herself against my grumpy cat who sometimes bullied her, but also quick to forgive. She was both a cuddler and a free spirit. Here’s to the way she loved to bunt my hand and climb up to lie purring on my chest; to the way she’d steal drinks from my glass of ice water, and curl up in my lap to sleep. Here’s to her zest for life and her sheer sweetness of soul — with thanks for the time she shared with me. RIP, little India.