“A cat has died.”

Tabla the Cat

That’s what my son said as we laid our old cat’s body into the ground, wrapped in a towel.  My son is always conducting these role-playing games, where he tells you what to say and what the scenario is. He’s just 5 years old,  and didn’t want to see Tabla’s body.   He didn’t want to know that Tabla had died.  When we told him, he ran away and said “Why did you tell me that?”.  I can relate.  I didn’t want to think too much about it either — it reminded me very surely that I will die one day, and my son will most likely have to deal with it.  I watched Tabla slowly get old and feeble, eventually toothless, incontinent and deaf.  His former self diminished.  Will I be like that?  I’d like to think that I’ll be a sprightly old codger, but considering the abuse my body has recieved, courtesy of myself, I wonder.   Hold me over the litterbox — I gotta go.

We all knew it was coming. We were lucky, as he (the cat) had gone missing a few weeks ago, and we found him.  He knew that his time was coming to an end, but I don’t think he wanted to go.  He tried to rally.  We had a few nights where he was perky and he even seemed to enjoy a salmon dinner we shared with him (his favorite food).  But in the end, he couldn’t walk or get up, and eventually lay there on the couch, just breathing.  I knew it was his last night, and stayed with him for a while..  When I woke the following morning, our other cat, mostly feral, was sitting with Tabla’s body, and let me pet him for a while.  I know he’ll miss his friend too.

We buried him with rosemary and lavender flowers, on the hill behind our house. Saying goodbye as the sun went down in the ocean. That night, as I lay in bed, I imagined Tabla stretching out and into the sky.  A cat-shaped outline filled with cat joys, like fresh green spring oaxalis, fish and mice, sunshine and warm fur.  His spirit released, becoming once again the wild, bright shining Cat that he was.  Expanding …

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