She was my father's cat until he died eight years ago. She was my mother's cat until yesterday.
When she came, she was a shy little thing, who appeared out of the blue one summer's day in 1995. Where she came from, we never knew, nor how old she was then. She was mortally afraid of brooms and sticks, so she must have had bad experiences before she discovered my parents' home, and decided to stay. My father named her Susi.
She never liked to catch mice around the house, but she became a devoted companion to my father who was sick and unhappy at that time. When she grew older and stayed in the house most of the time, my mother doted on her (more than she ever admitted). Sometimes when I phoned, my mother let me listen to the sound of Susi's happy purring over the phone, and then I knew: All is well at home.
Susi even purred when I petted her the last time, day before yesterday. She was a sick, old cat then, hardly able to move and finally beyond help. Today my mother and I buried her little, light body in the garden, right where she used to sit and watch birds - she stopped chasing them years ago, but even in old age loved to pretend to be a great hunter.
She was only a cat. But we have lost a loved one with her.