I almost need post-its around the house.
On the sliding glass door inside: “Don't look for him. He’s not coming home ever again.”
On the outside: “Don’t bother to pull the screen door shut and prop the box fan just so when you go out to weed and water; he’s not here to open the door and let the kitten out.”
On the bathroom mirror: “He’s never going to be sleeping on the bathmat or in the tub again.”
On my bedroom door inside: “He will not be waiting in the hall for his breakfast.”
On the outside: “He’s not on the bed taking a nap. Go ahead and turn the overhead light on.”
In the writing shed: “He will not need a bowl of fresh water ever again.” and "Don't look for him napping in the big chair. He'll never be there again."
On the front door: “He is not lounging on the deck waiting for you to look for him here.”
In the office: “Don’t look out the window-he will never leap on top of the fence out there and stalk across the field, never again.” and "He won't interrupt your writing by jumping up, sticking his butt in your nose and stretching out across the keyboard ever again." and "He won't nap in Jim's chair again."
For the kitchen:
“Don’t put an extra spoonful of yogurt in a cat dish and take it in the office. He will never have it again.” and "When saving the tenderest, fattiest bits of chicken or salmon carefully unseasoned, only put a tiny bit in the tiny dish for the kitten. Bob is not here anymore."
In the garden: “He will not meet you today to lie in the weeds and watch you.”
And at night, before storms: “Don’t call him like you're calling your cub home. He’s never coming home again.”
Saturday, July 1, 2017
How you taught me that, over and over.
The way you hid when we first brought you home, then were seduced slowly, treat after treat, finally into my arms. The way you would glare at me when I offended you. The way you rewarded me with the fur of your back under my nose and the swish of your long, thick, lush tail over my eyes when you were pleased with me.
The way you'd mount the 6 foot wooden fence like it was a speed bump, pause up there on an impossibly narrow edge gripped in your big paws as you surveyed your domain of fields and woods, your territory. The way you would slip gracefully down and then stalk through the tall grass, the muscles in your shoulders rolling under your glorious black and silver coat as you set out for adventures.
The way you would join me in the garden and lie a few feet away, available if I needed you and always reviewing the action.
The way you would climb heavily onto my chest in the middle of the night, your whiskers pressed to my face as your purr thundered, and make biscuits with your huge claws digging into my flesh; you were so beautiful that I tolerated it as long as I could, wincing and finally rolling you gently off, which sometimes got me bitten.
How you could BITE, leaving the puncture wounds rimmed with bruises.
And how you could love.
And how you maintained your pride and magnificence to the last moment, bearing your agonized breathing as casually as if it were some new fashion accessory. The way you refused to get in the carrier one last time. Even while gasping for every breath, you could fight.
There was so MUCH of you.
You leave a gaping sinkhole for us.
We'll try to bear it with the pride, the pride of your creaturehood.