The cat summoned us in the night with a few distressed mews as he lay on the dining room floor. We turned on the light and stayed with him. The lady who hated cats when I met her shed a tear and stroked him as he died.
Yes, he knew we were there
I reassured her as I tried not to think about who would be there when my turn came… I’m with Woody Allen; I don’t mind dying (eventually), but I don’t want to be there when it happens.
I haven’t seen ANY family member die, apart from a few with feathers. When my father died I was half a world away. I was away too when our much loved dog, present in practically every family photo taken while he was alive, was put to sleep. His exploits are occasionally remembered still, and the visiting puppy reminded us of a few forgotten bits of family folklore. At his first dinner party, e.g., while still a small puppy, he went around under the table and stealthily removed every napkin from each of a dozen knees, then lay on the pile and slept, very pleased with himself. Nobody noticed until after the meal. A recollection which prompted the boy to say
And then there was the day when he came running into your bedroom with a lamb and the two of them jumped on the bed and stood there with their tongues hanging out looking at you at your dressing table and you said to Dad “Get his shitty little feet off my bed!!”
Fond memories, both, from before he was born, but heard so often he could picture them.
This morning there was no little black cat ready to lick the freezer compartment if the lower fridge door was opened — one of his little habits, missed already. His things have been put away, including a packet of cat treats hardly started.
I don’t want to be reminded
said the lady who gave the little curmudgeon his breakfast every day.
He’s on your phone
I said, recalling big yellow eyes. I think he’ll be there for a little while yet.
Now he has gone, to the duty vet from where he will go to be cremated. Then the girls will go to the Tutankhamun exhibition while I write an essay.