The mysterious bond between man and animal is transcendent of scientific explanation, is transcendent of breaths and beating hearts. The first words to arrive and comfort me were these from Joseph Campbell: “The end of things is always painful. Pain is a part of there being a world at all.” Ebullience will live on, in my memory and in my writing, past and future. Probably—maybe—my best standalone story features a fictional kitty based on her personality. Hopefully one day it will be published and people will have the chance to meet her. She was always shy meeting people, including me. She was the last kitten to emerge from the kennel the day I picked her out sixteen years ago. I’ve since learned people are hesitant to pick out shyer kittens, like that, but that was what made me want her. Maybe she knew. Maybe she picked me out.