For My Baby Cricket
by Judi Nail
(Lindsay, Ca. USA)
Cricket in bed
I wasn't looking for a baby when I witnessed you being hit on the road. I didn't know you then but I gathered you up and found you help. It took 6 months before you were well enough to be adopted. My daughter, being 12, was determined to make you hers, but you had different ideas.
You became my baby and for almost 14 years no one ever saw me without you. You had lots of cute little tricks, like sitting up to beg, waking up each morning and cleaning your face and eyes, and howling in syllables "I love you."
You would sit and stare at me for hours on end. You always made me feel good because you loved me above all others. At the end of the day you would cuddle with me and curl up against the back of my legs in bed and go to sleep. I never felt alone as long as I had you. After years together it was almost as if you could read my mind.
Two days before you died, the vet said your liver and kidneys were failing and you had heart problems for a while so I was going to put you down. As if you knew, you struggled to get down and went to the bathroom right in front of the vet's office as if to tell me, "See, I'm ok, don't give up yet."
I fed you baby cereal and water through a syringe for two days before you finally went limp in my arms at the vet's.
Our bond was so strong that even then you kept trying to stay. Your little body was worn out and your heart too, but it kept starting up again as if you were desperately trying to find your way back to me. But your little body couldn't take much more so I let you go.
But I will never forget you, Cricket. You will always be part of me. I felt as if half of my heart was ripped away as you left, but someday I hope to see you again. Until then, my Mom and Dad will watch over you in heaven.