Monday, March 12, 2012

In Memory of My Foodie Cat

[Please note that the following is a departure from my regular food ramblings to express some thoughts about my recently deceased cat, whom I was attached to like he was my own child. He is survived by long time companion, Mango. I adopted both of them on Dec 25, 2010.]

Dear Cole,

Thank you for the fourteen and a half months that we had together. It really seemed like we've known each other for so much longer. I loved you and cared for you with everything I had and I genuinely felt that you appreciated it - I often sensed that I gave you and Mango a much better home than you came from. You gave me so much love, so freely. Your generous, proud and affectionate spirit charmed everyone who met you. Your openness and forthrightness and trusting nature was unusual and beautiful. That openness extended to your desire to try new foods, and we had that in common. From spicy dishes to that good baguette from a French bakery, you always wanted to try everything I was eating, or at least the quality stuff. Never saw you going after the regular supermarket bread. I love that you and Mango have such different personalities and preferences. With you, it was food, and with Mango, I have a love of music and a critical ear in common, for example. She and I will comfort each other while we miss you and grieve for you.

I will miss your classic flop and roll maneuver to elicit a belly rub (a remarkably open gesture that characterized how you lived in general). I will miss watching you walk into every room with your tail held high. I will miss the tender way you look up into my eyes when you are feeling particularly content in a cuddle, and want to connect. You never held a grudge, and you looked to me with trust right to the last moment when you lay your head down gently in the emergency clinic. Know that I truly believe it to be the right time to let you go for your sake, and that it would have only been selfish of me to try to extend your suffering.

Life seems so fragile right now. I spent a week dreading your loss last year when I was waiting for the results from the tumour removal. This time, there was no time to contemplate the possibility. There's just time now to mourn. Endless time, really. It's hard to describe how attached I was to you. You were up with me every morning when I was getting ready for work, and you met me at the door whenever I came home. Sometimes I would catch you staring at me so intently. You were so adorable when you burrowed in to the comforter and just barely poked your head out. Or when you and Mango were cuddled up and grooming each other. You looked out for me, and always came over when I called.

I'm reminded that any of us could die at any time, in any number of ways. It seems so unfair that such a good and kind being as you should have your life cut short but horrible hateful beings live out their lives to the very end. A friend has told me to think about the things that I brought to your life in this time of grief. I think having you in my home was a very good thing for both of us. Death, well, this is part of adopting cats. You take on the likelihood of dealing with the death of the cat in the future automatically upon adoption. Even more likely when you decide to adopt older cats. It is worth it. I wouldn't give up knowing you, Cole, for anything. I hope you understood my gratitude every day, as I expressed it in taking care of you. In turn, you took care of me.

So this letter is a final thank you from my heart.


No comments: