Last week, after 18 and a half beautiful years together, we said goodbye to our beloved cat, Cairo. It was time and he was ready, though we were not. But because we had promised to always take care of him, way back when he was just shadows of tiger stripes peeping through his queen mother’s stretched belly skin, we put on our brave hats and made the appointment to set him free.
It was as graceful a transition as we’d hoped it would be, thanks to our good friends at Hope Vet. There was music, Mozart’s Suite for Strings, and much cooing and kissing and cuddling. And of course tears. Lots and lots of tears.
Since then, and in our grief, my husband and I have taken turns pondering where, if anywhere, our Cairo might be. We are not God people in the religious sense, so these profound life questions often wax toward the philosophical. What we have noticed is that, rather than imagining him in some contrived heaven—chasing mice across some idealized landscape—we prefer to take comfort in the nature all around us, and the idea that Cairo has rejoined with some energetic source of creation and destruction.
What nature gives, it takes away.
If you are a nature-lover of longstanding, you feel the ache of this in your bones. And yet in spite of grieving over the death of loved ones, the extinction of species, the fracking of the Earth’s surface, you draw solace from natural and human creations, in poems and slithering ribbon snakes, in science and shooting stars, in the kaleidoscope beauty that is constantly upwelling from this mystery we call life.
This post itself is a consoling creation, a chance to remember our beloved companion, a cause for gratitude and joy.
(the Missing Link Boy)
aka “Bunny”, aka “Mitts”, aka “Beast-O-My-Heart”,
aka “Kai”, aka “Topo Gigio”
November 25, 1995 – July 30, 2014
Always in our hearts…