When I got Zoe, she was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. She turned 10 this Christmas.

Zoe was by far the most interactive pet I’ve ever known, and I’ve had my fair share of pets. She was a champion ping-pong player, loved soccer, and never backed down from a round of peekaboo. She chased her tail until she fell over, hunted all the insects that got into our house, played fetch, and did areal acrobatics to put a Cirque du Soleil performer to shame. She mowed until she was picked up every morning so she could ride around on my shoulder while I made breakfast. She followed me from room to room, and when I sat down she was on my lap. She draped my arms while I typed my novels and purred on my stomach when I laid down to read. She drank from the faucet and the shower until she was drenched. She’s the only animal I’ve ever known to have a security toy, which she carried around the house when she wasn’t sure where we were, and slept with every night.

She was a perfect match to my personality: fiercely attached to those she loved and violently uncomfortable around strangers. She was my constant companion. She will be missed.