I had postponed the inevitable long enough.
The ground was snow-covered part of the day, and filled with mud for the rest, coupled with vicious winds. So, I could not take the final of final steps. But today, I did everything but that.
In opening the door, the absence of light seemed out of place. But the mother had turned out the lamp days ago. I couldn't bring myself to do it.
I cleared away all the bedding. (Tigger had four beds at one point.) I dismantled and pitched his well worn scratch post. I threw away his pillows. And mats. And bowls. I emptied and discarded his litterbox.
I created a bag for things that could or should be laundered. Everything else, I threw away. It seemed so wrong as I did it. It seemed surreal. It took several episodes of stop/start to complete the task.
Once I had carried everything outside (tomorrow is trash day), I started pushing things back into place. (We'd moved things to make it easier for Tigg to navigate.) I ran the sweeper and mopped the floor.
I surveyed the scene. An empty bed shell. A stack of laundry. The only evidence that a cat had once existed here: the frame of a window perch and some toys scattered on different parts of the floor.
Once outside, the darkened window caught me. (Second time in as many days.) But I did it. I trudged back into the house and breathed a sigh of relief.