You never told me you had a little girl, so, when I heard about it, I was happy and surprised, even as I castigated myself for missing that particular part of your life, which must have been such a landmark. This was before I saw the picture of you and your little girl in my inbox. I used to have three very big girls, too; and I knew how big they have become when last Saturday, faced by a big Cat that suddenly appeared at our doorway, two of my girls expanded to twice their size, eager to prove themselves they were ready to defend their homeland. I still remember how Eponine, the Grey, stood there, making herself as big as she can get; although the biggest that she can get at that moment was only up to the shoulder of the Cat. But Eponine was the most intelligent and the most brilliant of them all; the type who gets what she wants without even trying. I saw her last Saturday trying to scare the Cat; and I called my boy Sean inside the bathroom to come out fast because he will miss the action. It was Eponine, the Grey and Oreo, the Black, who stood their ground against the Cat; while Henri Matisse, the Yellow One, shielded herself in the corner ready to duck and dart, if worse came to worst. But after a while of sabre-rattling without any actual action, I finally decided to call Oreo to my lap, leaving Eponine at the door alone to confront the intruder. Although she was able to maintain her size, I can faintly see her legs shaking at the effort. This makes me very sad every time I remember it now, the image of her standing bravely at the door. This was Saturday. The following day, a windy Sunday, Eponine got hit by a slamming door when I was coming out to get something. What followed must have been 48 hours of terrible pain and suffering that only Eponine knew and I can only imagine with remorse. In the morning of Tuesday, Eponine still attempted to join the boodle fight that characterized our feeding time with her two sisters but she could no longer make herself stand up. I went to her to comfort her, telling her she did not have to move about because she was a very Special One, I prepared a special food for her. Her mouth would no longer open when I tried. Between 8 to 9 am on Tuesday, February 24, 2005, on the eve of the 29th year of the Edsa people power, I lost an intelligent, brave and loving girl of a cat. Her leaving fills us with sorrow so deep, it will take a very long time to heal.