More On OrangeLife on this plane ended yesterday morning [written 2/24] for my little man, the Zeus Cat. Now I’m writing this to mark his passing–my need to use some words–clearly not his need or want. He was always removed from the ordinary days that the rest of us seem to require. Though he moved freely, as he chose, back and forth between worlds. It was always as he chose. My original intention was to have an indoor cat. He decided that he was to be an indoor/outdoor one. And there was no containing him. He ate and drank, as he demanded, from the patio table on warm days. Why serve him? You ask. He’d come in when he got hungry enough, you say? Sure. Once you got past a cat hanging from the living room window screens and howling. And the neighbors feeding the poor starving baby. (He was not above playing to the crowds.)He was born in Atlanta and moved with us and his first dog, Kate, to Ohio. There he got in with the wrong crowd and had his ears tattooed with the tips pierced. Then we moved to Raleigh where he got lost the very first move-in day within the worst snowstorm the city had ever had. (He left to check out the neighborhood where he knew nothing, much less how to get back to a new home.) Seven weeks later–an unheard of length of time–we got him back. (He never did say where he had been or what had happened.) From there we moved to Shaker Heights, Ohio, where he lost his first dog but got another–Wolfgang.He got seriously ill in Ohio and I know this as he communicated very clearly by vomiting on me. A lot. Thousands of dollars later he was cured and we moved to Colorado Springs. Here we buried Wolf and he got his for-real and forever dog, Tula. Tula let him sleep with her and eat with her (he loved dog food) and they played together every morning. They formed a real partnership and always knew where the other was, or where the other one had headed.
And then, at 16 years, old age crept in and gained a foothold. First thyroid, then kidneys, then who-knew-what. First he was dying then he was surviving then he was and then he wasn’t. It was of course the predictably unpredictable. Yesterday, wrapped in his green fuzzy blanket, Tula and Squeek came to say goodbye, nose to nose. They’ve not looked for him since.
Now here’s the strange part in a life well lived. I cried and cried as he lay dying, over and over. Now gone, I feel his presence. He seems to come and go, with something akin to the Vulcan mind-meld. I see the aloof look he would get as he laid back and slit his eyes almost closed with the “Don’t touch the fur!” I also feel him next to me as he would come for love & snuggles & petting. Usually at three o’clock in the morning. It’s still the same. He’ll come and go as he wants. He’ll let you know when.
With Love for all of the creatures we love and lose, who give so much by just being who they are, Lois, Zeus, Tula & Squeek