Tales of a cat

10347718_736056113125649_1543153868636724075_nI had thought today I would be writing an elegy for a much loved cat. It is not quite as I had anticipated.

Mr Cat, also known sometimes as Mason Rumblepurr and a whole host of other titles, gave up on being a corporeal cat last week, having had several strokes. He was nearly 17 and had lived a good life. He came to me aged ten, from a happy home because his people were emigrating. He travelled with me, to cottage, narrowboat and finally this flat. He loved boat life, and was happiest there with the woodstove and an abundance of opportunities for sunbathing, and beating up dogs. He was a glorious and eccentric cat, partial to chilli, and with a veritable fetish for balls of wool. He was excellent company; a friendly chap who regularly won hearts.

And at this point, I was expecting to say how much we are going to miss him.

To miss something, you need to feel its absence. He was such a strong presence, and he remains that. What we have instead is the strange journey of coming to terms with a physical absence, along with a keen sense that we remain a family of four, one of whom is just a bit less tangible than previously.

I have no coherent stories about what happens when we die. I have a suspicion that it isn’t a single event, just as being born means very different things for different people. Perhaps death is as individual as life. I hope so.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

5 responses to “Tales of a cat

  • joannavanderhoeven

    No one and no thing can ever truly leave you – there is no such thing as “away”. Our beloved Caia is no longer a physical presence in the house as she was before, but she is there, in the garden, the physical form that we knew her by now feeding into the plants on her grave, those plants now releasing oxygen into the air, and we are breathing her in, still knowing that she is there, in memory and in the corporeal, albeit in a different form – but then again, we are constantly changing our form, cells growing and dying, and this is just another of the great and glorious process of life, death and decay… Caia hasn’t left us, and she never will. there is great comfort in that, and also profound learning. Big love to you. x

  • Sue Vincent

    Simply ‘liking’ barely seems right. I am sorry for the missing purr and the head against your legs, but I am glad you still have the presence of your friend.

  • alainafae

    I had a feline companion pass away earlier this month also, and I got a similar sense that she is just less corporeal rather than outright gone.

  • angharadlois

    That is a beautiful tribute, with much wisdom. I love the (Terry Pratchett inspired?) consideration of death as a very individual experience.

    When Basil cat – a member of our family for 14 years – passed away on my 27th birthday, a strange thing happened: as my friends & I were leaving Camden ceilidh club, we all started talking about him, apropos of nothing. At that exact moment, my mother called to break the news, and we all went into the nearest pub to raise a glass to Basil who had, we all felt sure, joined us for a while that evening.

  • Aurora J Stone

    A lovely tribute. I remember when Fluffy Cat died in my arms, the great anguished struggle he had in letting go, as his soul/spirit/essence broke free of the bonds of his body. And the peace in the space once he had done so.

    I was thinking about this on my walk this morning, the presence in our lives of companion animals . . . I wondered if they are not in some way how the larger presences at times choose to engage us. I wondered because though all of these furred and feathered and scaled friends are wondrous and unique, there are those now and then that are extraordinary, they arrive at a time of their choosing and not ours, bring healing, carrying messages, providing solace when we need it as no other being can. I don’t know, but this thought was very strong with me this morning.

    The challenge can be in accepting the new form of a familiar presence, I found it took some getting used to with certain animal friends. Sometimes they do a quick check-in and some of them stay close for a long time. It seems to depend on the particular personality of the creature to begin with.

    You may not miss who/how he was because who/how he is now is so very present, different in form, consistent in essence. Blessings.

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