I have more SCW work to share, but today’s post is returning to the theme of loss:
Kitten is 22 years old and, at this age, has never missed a mealtime – and normally is very vociferous in making sure we don’t either. However, two days ago, she didn’t turn up to beg for lunch, and she didn’t turn up for her dinner either. When she was absent yesterday as well, my parents and I worried.
The obvious conclusion is that she crawled into some private hidden space to die alone, as cats often seem to choose to do. In my mind she has gone from “Missing In Action” to “Missing, Presumed Dead”.
She’s been pretty doddery for the past couple of years, really, more absent-minded than usual (and she was always pretty barmy, so that’s saying something) and stiffer, achier, teeth troubling her, and so on: many ailments due to the inevitable increase of entropy in a system (passage of time/aging, if you will). To look at she was a scruffy fluffy bag of bones. The past couple of months I have been feeling as though she was probably coming to the conclusion of her allotted span despite being as determined and excitable as she ever was. So I have subconsciously prepared myself for the moment when she would no longer be with us.
In some ways, if this really is her passing on, her final goodbye, then I am glad that she did it privately. It feels like a last act of classiness from a lady who has been many things in her life, including a brazen hussy by any relevant definition, but has never been outclassed: “Always leave them wanting more!” Not for us the cold certainty, but we can if we wish soften the parting by imagining that she just found some other mugs to look after her. I know, of course, that she is dead – deep down, I feel sure of it. But equally, I can choose that image instead and smile at my own gullibility when I choose to believe it briefly.
Rest well, ancient kitten, wherever you are and whatever state you’re in.