I can’t really believe I’m typing this, but Hazel the cat passed away peacefully this morning in our home. She was hands down one of the best friends I ever had.

We weren’t her first owners, so we weren’t entirely sure of her exact age, but she got to experience a long life by cat standards at approximately twenty years. Towards the end of her life, her vision and hearing were nearly gone along with her muscle mass. She was suffering from a long list of possible illnesses, ranging from heart problems to a brain tumor. Her weight began to drop at a rapid rate despite our attempts to keep her healthy with a variety of different foods.

To find out exactly what was wrong, she would have been put through a lot of difficult tests and operations. Our vet explained to us that if we didn’t want to take her down that road, the best choice would be to let her go before she began to suffer. It was one of the hardest things we ever had to do, but we decided to go with the latter option.

Whenever I was exhibiting at a comic convention or presenting at the library, I would tell people that my cats made me laugh every day so I created a webcomic in their honor. And the best part about that was getting to see other people laugh too; people in all different parts of the world who understood the universal bond between pet and owner and the smiles it brings. Hazel inspired a comic that changed my life. And she’ll continue to live on in these pages long after we’ve said goodbye.

Thanks for all those good times, Hazel. We’re gonna miss you.