This picture, I feel, really captures the essence of Rachel. She was loving but also vindictive and a bit of a b*tch (in case you can't tell, she's deliberately planted her anus on the mouse). She had a rough exterior that hid a heart of gold. It took her many years to warm up to us. She really warmed up after Paul died, which was surprising to me - instead of becoming a recluse, she reached out to us for love and affection. Though I think not having Paul here once she became sick is what really did her in. We tried to cuddle with her, but we just never sat still enough for long enough. And I think she just really missed him.
Like with Paul, there's now a Rachel sized hole missing from our lives. The house feels very empty today.
Jason pointed out last night that her passing is an end of an era - the Paul & Rachel era. We adopted them 5 1/2 years ago - our first pets together. We went through so much - moving several times, getting new pets, then the baby. They taught us a lot. Me, specifically, they taught a lot about unconditional love - how to love someone as they are, not who we'd like them to be. They also helped me stop and take a moment to share love. And they gave me a glimpse of what it will be like to be a parent of a teenager.
I am grateful for the time we had together and the life we shared.