It’s 5:15 in the evening and as you know, you died exactly this time last year. I’ve just come back from visiting your grave and I thought that we’d chat a bit. It’s almost as miserable a day as last year, though it’s not raining. It’s below freezing though so I don’t know which is worse. I put you right beside Frosty so I hope he’s keeping you company. You two were so much alike.
As you know, you were the best friend I’ve ever had, two legged or four and I’ve missed you worse than anything I could ever imagine. It’s been a rough year without you. The two kids  that I forced on you last year are grown and doing fine. I hope you don’t hate me too badly for bringing them in on you. I think you kinda liked Fred in the end.Ã‚Â Nothing will ever replace you but they’ve certainly filled a void.
Fred’s turning out to be just like you, a practical clone except that he’s a powderpuff – no tail at all to shake at me like you did when I aggravated you. He learned a lot from you including how to get my attention, scrape goodies out of a small can and has the beginnings of a vocabulary. We can’t yet communicate as well and you and I did but let’s give him time. After all, you were a couple of years old before you came into your own. Fred’s even learning where the warm spot in the bed is just like you did – under my arms or behind my knees.
Jake’s just a cat. A big fat orange tabby with a “different” personality but still just a cat. Still, I’m glad he’s around. He keeps Fred entertained and occasionally helps me write the same way you did, by laying across my wrists as I type.
Bob, you know how much I loved you because we told each other all the time. But I just have to say it one more time. Man, I love and miss you like life itself. There’s an empty place in my heart that will never be filled. I hope that wherever you are, the mice are tasty and the lady cats cute. Godspeed again, my friend.