04 February 2008


Faust, the senior cat, shuffled off this mortal coil quietly yesterday morning. He would have been 17 in May.

He'd been fading a while, and I'd had due warning that something was not right when he wasn't under my feet begging for food on Saturday night while I made dinner. Sunday, he did not want breakfast, and did not wake up from his morning nap. He did reach out and pat my hand with his paw before falling asleep the last time.

Nearly 17 years is a long time to live with anyone, even a cat. Perhaps especially a cat. I know people whose marriages haven't lasted that long. There's plenty of time in 16.5 years to learn all a person's (or cat's) flaws and, I guess, plenty of time to learn to love despite rather than because. Faust was not without flaws, including an annoying habit of yowling when he thought I should be feeding him (which was much of the time). But he was always sweet and good natured and gentle with everyone -- except the dog, and I think he even mellowed a little toward the dog in his old age.

I dug him a grave in the back yard, in a spot which is sunny now but will be cool and shady in the summer. I made the sides as straight and the corners as square as I could. There's some consolation in doing a thing well, even when that thing is burying a cat.

This was taken a few years ago -- he was about 14, I think.


1 comment:

  1. Sympathies. I've lost two in the last two years, and too many of my friends have lost furry friends to old age recently as well.

    Expect a few visits from "ghost cats" when you think you hear the usual footprints trotting toward you, or look for him in a sunny spot. You'll have a few more chances to say goodbye.



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