3/15/2000 – 4/29/2015
Mac was adopted through Hopalong Animal Rescue (http://www.hopalong.org.) How could I resist a gorgeous cat with the same name as a favorite uncle (who passed away at the age of 104, annoyed by the “young women” always trying to pick him up – the ladies were all in their late 80s.) He came home on the Ides of March, 2001. Since we didn’t know his actual birthday, we decided that recognizing 3/15 was appropriate for the date. I was told when I adopted him that he was a year old.
Last February he had Melanoma in his right eye and I had to have it removed. We called him our Odin Kitty with his one eye. It didn’t slow him down. In fact, my Nature Boy was all the more active and curious without it.
He was my buddy for 14 years before this last April when he began to loose weight, stop eating, and ran a fever. Cancer. Specifically Lymphoma in his Kidneys. As anyone knows, Cancer and Kidney issues are common for felines, and the treatments are well established. However, Mac’s cancer resisted treatment and he began to decline rapidly. I brought in Heaven from Home (http://www.heavenfromhome.com) to help him pass. It was remarkably peaceful. My dear friend Juliana came down and in the front garden he gently slipped away. If you can handle the moment and afford it, this is genuinely the best method. There are plenty of reasons why this might not be possible, but if you can, it is profound. I think after all that Mac and I lived through (earthquakes, a fire, 3 boyfriends, 3 cars, 2 layoffs … life) I could not have parted with him in any less of an intimate way.
I am grieving, naturally and normally. It really has taken me this long to write about this. And I can tell you just how empty my home is.
Grief is not limited to species or gender or race or any other division that is inflicted on life on this planet by us. He was a friend. He was a companion. He was my writing buddy. There is no replacing him, though someday I will meet another companion and we will develop our own relationship. I like to point out that love is not like a pie – as if someone wants a slice, the other slices must be diminished. Our capacity to care and to love is 100% each and every time we want to give that much – as often and as many times – all at once, one at a time – it doesn’t matter.
So here’s to a writer’s best friend. And a sad farewell.
I have been writing the story of Mac called The Resident of Lower Catswold. You can find it in all its unedited glory here, November 2014, for your enjoyment.