My very old, very dear friend, Crouching Tigger-Hidden Pooh (Tiggy-Pooh or other variations for short) passed away on March 5th. I’ve been slammed again by another loss. Dang, I don’t mean to turn this blog into a notice board about the passing of aging pets, but it’s life, it’s what is going on in mine at the moment. I’m sad, yes, very much so. He is the last of the litter of 1998, the last of the fondly dubbed “Horrible Horde.”
(*Between 1997 and 1998 the feral cat population that invaded our property exploded to around thirty cats- yup, 3 -0, 30. Not our choice, it’s the hazard of living in the country, people see a barn and think it’s a good place to leave off their unwanted cat. It took many weeks of capturing, taming, spaying, and neutering to get it under control.)
Anyway, back to Pooh. Oh my sweet kitty boy, I immortalized him briefly as Samantha Ryder’s kitty in The Fractured Hues of White Light. I tend to do that (because I can.) Life without Pooh feels hollow. I feel like I have forgotten to do something, and then remember why. I’m not forgetting, I’m missing an activity, a worry, a routine. I have nursed this little kitty for about a year or so, thinking for so long, “he’s going to go any day now.” Now has come. Now that he’s gone it’s weird how it feels like relief. Pooh hasn’t been Pooh for a long time, we’ve missed him before he died.
I cried more on Saturday before he died, than on Sunday after he died. I knew when I went to bed around 1AM Sunday morning that he might not be with us by dawn. I held his little paws, they were toasty warm, he was snug as a bug, the wood stove keeping things comfortable, his buddy, Charlie curled next to him. His little toes curled around my finger. I kissed him goodnight and told him that it was okay, he could go, we’ll meet again some day. I told him I loved him, and turned out the lights.
He went peacefully on his own terms during the wee hours. We buried him on Tuesday when we had a thaw and my Fred could dig a hole. He’s buried beside his brothers Willy Big and Fatty Woo Hobbes.
I miss these old boys. They were the best of the litters of 1997 and 1998. They’re all gone. I still have four boys, all drop off misfits that found their way to a safe haven. I’m in the process of befriending a kitty we’ve dubbed “Bigfoot” because we’d see tracks, but no cat. This has been going on for about a year or so, she’s finally trusting us enough to allow herself to be seen. I swear there’s a sign outside our house, invisible to us humans, but visible to cats, it reads: “Nice people live here!” or maybe it says “SUCKERS!” Your guess is as good as mine.
It’s snowing and bitter cold out there today. Charlie is curled on the bed beside the wood stove, alone. No wait…the Little Monster is with him.
I do believe that our loved ones are always there, inside of us as well as beyond our vision. They’re those visitors seen out of the corner of one’s eye, a slight breath of wind tumbling through one’s hands, pouncing, or brushing up against one’s leg.