And Then There Was One

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 in his queen mama’s belly, we put on our brave hats and made the appointment to set him free.

MeandCairo

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.

Cairo_Sleeping

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.

Milkweed

What nature gives, it takes away.

winter

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.

PacificSunset

This post itself is a consoling creation, a chance to remember our beloved companion, a cause for gratitude and joy.

Cairo_portrait

Cairo
(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…

About Smallpeace

Michele Karas is a poet, essayist, and longstanding professional copywriter, who currently works for a top-five US book publisher. Her poems and prose have appeared in literary journals, including Tinderbox, THRUSH, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Narrative magazine, among others. Michele holds a BA in Journalism from San Diego State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY, The City College of New York. Find her on Twitter @small_peace.
This entry was posted in Nature • Animals, Smallpeace and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to And Then There Was One

  1. Anonymous says:

    So sorry. Hope Vet is where my cat, Taki and I said goodbye. They are very compassionate. Take care. Cathy

  2. herheadache says:

    Sorry for your loss. I have lost pets, guide dogs and that was hard. I just got a new little kitten, my first cat. He is ten weeks old. I can’t imagine still having him when I am almost fifty. That is a long time to have an animal in your life. Very well said…everything you said about nature giving and taking away. This is true. Sorry again.

    • Smallpeace says:

      I appreciate your thoughts on this, @Herheadache. Losing a guide dog is a whole different level of loss–your beloved friend AND a physical extension of yourself! Enjoy your little kitten. They grow up so fast, as the saying goes. What a fun time you’ll have together.

  3. ELAINE GRAHAM says:

    He had the best kitty life ever, with hugs, treats, and play time galore.  You are the best Mom and my sympathy to you. From one cat lover to another—–Christopher’s Mom   aka   Elaine

    • Smallpeace says:

      Oh Elaine, thank you. We have no regrets. He got more love and care than many humans in this world. Clearly you have known a special cat or two in your life.

  4. Touch2Touch says:

    A loving tribute. Hail and farewell, Cairo.

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