No matter how deep authors try to immerse ourselves into our books, real life always steps in to throw in a big STOP sign to our creativity and yank us back into the "real" world. I've been up half the night, listening to the quiet in the house, jittery from too much caffeine and suffering the ill effects of a bit too much comfort food and red wine from dinner last night.
Yesterday, my husband and I had to make the decision to put our oldest family member, Ginger Snap Ann, AKA Granny Cat, out of her misery. She was at least 18 years old, maybe older. She'd been declining for the last couple of years, had numerous health issues, had lost a lot of weight, cried constantly throughout the night at the top of her lungs, yet was still eating very well. Then all of a sudden she wasn't.
|Ginger, helping in the office.|
|Playing with youngest sister, Izzy June.|
|Helping with my still life photography|
|Ginger, Solar Cat|
|This photo portrays her personality very well. She didn't suffer fools.|
|Guarding the bed from evil-doers. And other cats.|
Ginger was feisty, independent, sometimes infuriating, but always loving to her human friends.
Not so much to her sisters and brother Louie. :-) She made sure they knew who was boss. She was one of those older shelter cats that had grown out of kitten phase, yet not adult. We never really knew how old she was, maybe one, one-and-a-half, the vet guessed, when we brought her home. She was lame in the back legs, but after she snaked a paw out of her cage and snagged husband's jacket, there was no way we could leave her behind. She soon got over that little problem and was leaping all over the house in no time at all. A bit too much, actually. One time she climbed a ladder, leaped off into the air, breaking her jaw in the fall. Another time she tried to fly off a loft and hit her nose on a table, breaking it. Did that stop her? Nope.
This morning, her remaining five adopted siblings are wondering where she is. Missy Jane sits in front of the litter box, staring into it. Izzy June noses around behind the dryer. Maybe she's there. No? Where could she be? She looks up at me, stares, then stalks off to nose around the bookshelves.
Roja (the brains behind the outfit who Knows All) is hiding under the bed, her big yellow eyes staring back at me in accusation. Roja's sister, Blanca, is beside me on the bed and from time to time looks up at me with her cornflower blue eyes. Blanca has always been the more "simple" of the bunch, but even she knows something's not quite right.
Louie, who always loved a rough and tumble smack-down with Ginger, has been sleeping non-stop since we got home yesterday. Maybe he's got the right idea.
The vet said that cats mourn, too, and I believe it. The memory that keeps going through my mind is the day that my beloved cat Demi, died, years ago. Demi and Ginger had been adopted together and had a strong bond to each other. Demi's body lay in the entry way of our home, covered with a blanket until my husband could get home to bury her.
For two hours, Ginger sat on top of her, not moving, not twitching a whisker. Staring off into . . . somewhere.
Rest in peace, little one. We already miss you, and hope you're in a much better place right now, maybe nipping at the tails of your former sisters and brother who all left us way too early.