Tuesday, November 15, 2011


She died alone and I feel a little bit bad about that. I should have stayed with her. I should have sat next to her bed and petted her head until she took her last breath. But I have a hard time with death and dying. Wanting everything to stay the same and those I love to always be there. I made sure she was comfortable and that the sunlight would be on her for a little while. And then I closed the door and walked away. I think she died shortly thereafter. In her sleep. In her soft bed. With the sun to keep her warm. The sun stronger than I could be.

She was 16 years and four months old. She was a good cat, companion, friend. I remember bringing her home. I tiny frightened kitten. Abandoned, along with her mother and a number of siblings. All pure white except for a small dark smudge on the top of their heads. A mark that disappeared as she grew older. A fun and happy cat who liked to climb trees, chase mice, and lay in the sun. A friendly cat who liked people and other animals, especially a puppy named Tonka who I had brought home few weeks before her. They grew up together, slept together, played together. And when Tonka crossed the Rainbow Bridge in February of this year, she searched and howled and became quite distraught that her friend was gone. She never stopped looking for him.

I buried her in the woods near a tree she liked to climb. I dug the hole much deeper and bigger than it needed to be, but I only wanted to lower her into the ground once. Not pull her out and dig some more and then try again, as if I was planting a tree. I lined the hole with pine needles and woodsy things, and then gently filled it back in. A beautiful, peaceful day. Cloudy, but warm for November. The quiet sounds of the woods, birds singing. Small things scampering through the fallen leaves. Mother Nature paid her respects in the form of rain. A gentle, spring-like rain that said “Here I am to say goodbye to your beloved friend.” And the rain felt good, as I was warm from digging, and stayed until I found a fitting rock for a headstone. And then it was gone.

I don’t know if there is an afterlife for animals. There should be. Especially for the ones who are loved. Just as much, if not more, than people. And if there is, then I take some comfort in the fact that she has been reunited with Tonka. That they are playing now. Racing about in a meadow somewhere. Or perhaps sleeping in the sun. Curled up against her friend. At home in between his big paws.

Gremlin, my little girl, I miss you.

1 comment:

  1. I missed this entry. An entry very close to home...

    My cat is also 16 yrs. old, she'll be 17 next May. I had to take her to the vet this month and she had an eye removed. She survived, but I know that if her other eye gets infected, it won't be just a removal but I'll have to let her go. Luckily she's an indoor cat, but she doesn't climb around like she used to, sleeps a lot, eats more then before. *sigh*

    Our dear furry friends....