Monday, December 17, 2007

Goodbye, Kitty Cat

I have death on my mind today, as my cat was hit and killed by a car yesterday. I went out on a walk in the early morning and then picked up my older daughter from a friend’s house. When we pulled into the driveway, she saw Cuddles lying prone on the front steps. He looked as if he could be sleeping, but unfortunately he was not.

Our entire family feels torn apart. We all had different relationships with Cuddles and used to joke about which cat each of us loved more – Cuddles, a gray 8 year old tabby, or Owen, a 16 or 17 year old brown tabby. Now those jokes seem hollow.

Of course I always knew I would feel bad when one of the cats died. But what makes Cuddles’ death so difficult is its unexpectedness. We were all conducting our lives normally and then – WHAM! – someone we loved was gone.

Life is so ephemeral. We just tend to forget it in good times.

There was no note, no message from the driver of the car. Either they were deliberately cruel or were unaware they hit a cat.

We buried Cuddles underneath a California lilac bush in our backyard. My husband could barely look at his body; he loved him so much. My daughters gathered rocks to put on his grave. Charlotte wrote his name on a flat rock. Later on, we put down flowers. They look so lonely in the rain.


Susan said...

Oh, dear. I am so so sorry to hear about this. How tragic for your family. As I watch our ancient dog dwindling down, I dread having to do the same soon...

They really are our family, aren't they.

Anonymous said...

Last night I started reading "The Year of Magical Thinking". This book has been sitting by my bedside for months; I had not been able to pick it up. I have had a few death-free years, so wasn't sure I wanted to voluntarily delve into that world. But this time of year is when I lost some loved ones, and the magnetism of the book led me to open it up just past midnight. And what has stayed with me was the phenomenom of "it was just an ordinary day" even though we know death can come at any moment, we defy this knowledge and live our lives, day after ordinary day. And then the extraodinary happens. To us. To me. But this time to you. There's no prepartation for this. No way to ease the pain and loss. And you can't go back. Despite wishes, prayers, pleas and promises. And yet...time does keep going. The painful day becomes ordinary, and in time, the festering ache throbs less. Amen to the joy Cuddles brought you. May your memories warm your heart.