In May, the day after I turned 24, my cat, Lucy, was hit by a car and killed. It was one of the worst days of my whole life, and I still can't really talk about it because I start crying. I miss that big fluffy cat so much.
Lucy (full name: Lucille Ball of Fur) came into my life when I was a lonely 20-year-old waitress and found her, along with three other week-old orange kittens, in the dumpster behind the restaurant where I worked. It was the saddest little miracle in the world. I needed a friend and she needed a home. I guess I'm grateful to that horrible monster of a human who left her there to die, though I also wish a lifetime of stubbed toes and seasonal allergies on them because they're a terrible person.
Lucy died when she was only four and it wrecked me. This year has been really hard for me in general for lots of reasons, and then all of a sudden, I didn't even have a cute cat to come home to and play with and take pictures of.
Lucy was a very popular cat. She was hilarious and huge and super social. I loved sending photos of her to my family and friends. I loved seeing her sleeping in a ray of sunshine on the hardwood floor. I loved watching her roll around in piles of leaves. I hate that my last memory of her is of her literally dying in my arms, so I've tried to focus on all my other memories. The good ones. The cute ones.
For a few weeks after she died, I had a hard time playing with my friends' pets. It just made me sad because I missed Lucy so much. At some point, though, I started being okay with it again. I truly do love animals. I love holding them, playing with them, cuddling them, all of it. I'm basically a Cat Whisperer. For real, everywhere I go, cats just sort of come to me. I'm like a Pied Piper of Kitties. I am truly hashtag blessed.
Because there will literally never be enough cats in my world, I started seeking out cute pets on Instagram. Instagram is a great place for cleverly captioned and shameless selfies, overhead shots of artfully displayed table settings, and hundreds of thousands of adorable animals.
I know it sounds silly, but I think that filling my feed with cute kitties (and pups!) has been really helpful in helping me mourn Lucy. Seeing pictures of cats and dogs who are so well-loved helps me remember how much I loved Lucy, and how much joy she brought to me. Here's some pet Instagrams you should follow RIGHT NOW if you also need some joy.
Sam is a very special cat with some well-placed "eyebrows" that give his face a constant expression of genuine concern. I love him so much.
Nala is a super cute Siamese/Tabby mix and I love her. She lives in Los Angeles and I love her.
This is Toco the cat and his account is the BEST because you get super adorable photos of cats AND babies!!! Toco loves posing with his little BFF and I love both of them.
This is Pudge the cat lounging in bed at a hotel I probably can't afford to stay at. I am very jealous of Pudge and I love her.
In the great battle between cats and dogs, I think I lean slightly more feline, but I love dogs too. I especially love this pup, Marnie, whose little tongue warms my heart. You can read the super-sweet story of Marnie on her tumblr. I love her.
I'm sure there are thousands more cute pet Instagrams I need to be following, and I'm counting on you to let me know about them! Share your favorite accounts, photos of your own pets, and follow me on Instagram for photos of the cute cats I find all over this crazy world.