Watch Kitty
the watch kitty —

best companion, office mate and comfort kitty ever.

where to begin to describe how much more loving our lives were made by his presence, how very large a space he leaves in our lives now? how much it made a difference to come home to this furry face, who bonded so much that we called him my stalker, my shadow, always underfoot, always aware of where we were. now I imagine him in spaces that he haunted, just behind me if I was in the kitchen, calling my attention to the dire situation of a bowl that had food more than 5 minutes old.

how maybe the two water bowls were in the wrong colour sequence… and should be refilled, again. how the best way to get our attention was to ascend a pillow staircase, over my shoulder or head, across my pillow and jump down.  again and again, until the message was received.  how for his first 18 or 19 years he was mostly silent, but in the last two or three, had found his voice. often. and we miss him in the silence.

how to say goodbye to the best kitty ever?

how to honor how much more he gave us that we could ever give him?

these questions haunt me most when i look for him to greet or comfort me. through whatever life brought outside our door, he was our constant companion within these walls. on the best and worst days, he was with us. knocking my eyeglasses out of adjustment, seeing if he could dip his nose into my cappuccino, alert to the sound of a tuna can being picked up off the pantry shelf, sniffing inspection but not really interested in my brandy. sniffing out a batch of fresh laundry from across the house, digging his way into the warm towels or better, the black garments that didn’t have cat hair on them yet. rolling on the freshly made bed as we tried to change the duvet, curled or spread out in the space between our pillows at night or sandbagging our legs to create his own pillow. padded paws on your knee, head butting you to pay attention. training us to be more useful human servants.

how even when we dove to hide from the world, he reminded us to pay attention to something and someone outside of ourselves. to look beyond our own selves.

for anyone who has had a loving pet companion, this you know.  how you are not alone. this is the contract you make, even if you did not know it.

this is what you will miss.

underwhelmedkittyTo all the staff at Summit Veterinary Hospital & Kennel:

We thank you for all of the love and kindness you have shown our kitty throughout his long life. On his last day, the care and compassion of Dr. Madden and his assistants helped us immeasurably, even as they eased his release from this life that seemed to have become such a burden to him.

He is buried under an oak tree, in sight of our house, in a grave dug into the weak Santa Cruz Mountains sandstone. Thick flagstones defend him from the digging beasts.

After the burial was complete a strange thing happened…

We have lived up here for 30 years and have never, ever, seen a bluebird here. But as we stood on the deck, looking down on the grave, a western blue bird flew up, hovered briefly below us, then flew to a tree, then to the rain gutter above us. We were astonished.

Rest in Peace, good friend.  We miss you.