Tuesday, May 7, 2013


millie. we loved each other well for more than 20 years.

you cheated death on numerous occasions—including the accidental ingestion of chemicals (more than once) and the avoidance of the snarling jaws of prowling coyotes. you out-ran randy tom cats in heat and warded off neighborhood dogs who launched raucous nighttime attacks with slobbering, malicious glee.

you stood your ground, all eight pounds of you, and defended yourself without fear. you backed down to no one. i don't think you ever forgot that rainy ditch you were rescued from so many years ago, abandoned without proper mothering, forced to fend for yourself.

we should have known you were trouble when your foster mother told us you were fond of conducting sneak attacks on her blind kittens. that fact has always made me secretly smile.

you were a wiry, bony thing with a howl to raise the dead. a born adventurer, you explored the world fearlessly, but always returned home, wailing on the doorstep after dark, offering gentle forehead-butts of apology for making us worry.

but then, a few days ago, you simply curled up snugly on your blanket, unmoving, your throaty yowl strangely silent.

we gathered you up and began the drive to the animal hospital, but before we could get there, you were gone. bereft, we took you far into the woods and found a quiet wooded glen awash in wildflowers. we dug your grave and laid you in it, as indigo buntings preened overhead and a family of deer looked on and the harpeth river hurtled past.

our hearts and rooms feel hollow now, and we struggle to accept that our beloved immortal creature has succumbed to the earth. we know that one day our sorrow will wane, but for now we choose not to think of you as gone. rather we imagine you prancing eternally in heaven's meadows, a contented purr in your belly and mischief in your eyes.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...