I won't regale you with endless stories of why my cat is the bestest cat in the universe (I've probably already done that), but I do want to share one reason why I love Cameron so much. I've gone through two major depressive episodes in my life. The second was the worse of the two and took place when I was 24. I didn't know how bad my situation was at the time, but it's quite clear in hindsight that I should have gotten help far sooner than I did. I went to bed after my final recital at school and basically didn't get up for 2 months. I stopped eating, skipped rehearsals, lessons, and classes, and spent most of my time hating myself for no apparent reason. I also had a few scary nights where I felt like I wasn't present in my own body; I floated around my tiny basement apartment, watching my physical self from across the room. During one of these episodes, I took all my painkillers and allergy pills out of their bottles, laying them out on the bathroom counter in an organized manner. I looked at them calmly, trying to decide if they would be enough to kill me if I took them all at the same time. Should I get more? The pharmacy was just around the corner, and the liquor store was down the street. I could get more pills and something to wash it all down. I was considering all of this carefully when Cameron wandered into the bathroom. I had adopted him the year before from a local animal shelter. I brought him home with the intention of taking care of him as best I could; he deserved to have a great life. It occurred to me that if I checked out, I wouldn't be doing what I pledged to do when I signed those adoption papers. He needed me. Clearly, I needed him too. I put the pills away, and we went to bed. I made an appointment with my family doctor soon after and started the slow climb out of that dark hole.
Cameron has been in the right place at the right time on a number of occasions, but that was his most important save. He has no idea how vital his presence has been in my life. I'll miss him so much but am grateful to have shared part of my life with such a lovely animal. He really is the bestest cat.