These last few weeks have been eventful… and emotional. Why does that not sound surprising?
This period of time began two Sunday’s ago when we were witness to the passing of one of our cats. Grey, was a very timid cat who somehow appeared on our back porch one day. My guess is that she heard through the grapevine that the lady at this house put out “wet” food each morning and evening and so she came round to check it out for herself. But something must have happened early on in that cat’s life, for while she desperately wanted to eat, she did not want to be petted. In fact, I think I fed Grey on my porch for two years before she ventured close enough for me to touch her. For much of her life, Grey kept mostly to herself.
The one exception was that she spent a lot of time on my neighbor, Bernie’s, back porch sunning herself and enjoying the treats that he offered her. She went there so often that there is a path in the grass from my house to his. Sometimes Grey would be at Bernie’s in the morning and when I brought out her breakfast she would just stare at me from across the distance as if to say, “Thanks but I’m too comfortable to move right now. I’ll see what you’ve got there in a little while.”
Last Sunday when I called to her, she just lay sleeping on Bernie’s old couch. I thought nothing of it, set her food down outside, and went for my usual walk with my daughter, Alex. There was a message from Bernie on the phone when we returned. Never one to mince words, Bernie’s message said “I think we’ve got a dead cat here.”
Fortunately, Bernie’s statement was premature; Grey had not yet died. I didn’t know what was wrong, but she was unable to move a muscle, and she couldn’t even open her eyes. When I reached a friend who is a vet, he said that we should make her as comfortable as possible. And so we did. We gently stroked her back, moistened her mouth, and kept her covered against the chill of the day. We probably spent more time petting her that day than we were able to do in the last ten years. And at day’s end, she took her last breath, arched her body a bit, and died.
It was a sad way to begin the week, but we were glad to have been there for Grey… and also to have had the chance to be close to her. As the week progressed I found I was on “Team Alex.” What that means is that my life’s purpose for the remainder of the week was to help my daughter finish her Capstone for Southern Oregon University.
Okay, I really didn’t do anything to help her with her Capstone… but I did feed her, walk her dog, mop her brow, etc. On the day her final paper was to be turned in, I remained at the ready – and for me, that meant I kept myself busy in the kitchen. I cleaned, I organized, I baked. At the time her paper was to be at the printer’s, I called to ask for a grace period. And the young man gave me us an extra 30 minutes. When I shared that news with Alex, she said, “Mom, we need to make them some brownies.” Unbeknownst to Alex, I already had made a quiche for one of her teachers… Curt. He has been a big help to her this last term and his name had been on the pie list for weeks.
As I look back, I can say that the week ended happier than it began. That Friday evening, Alex handed in her completed Capstone, Curt received his well-deserved quiche, and the folks at Printfast received a plate of brownies still warm from the oven.
Tonight I am sending warm wishes to everyone in the Universe,
A very proud Mom