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« Through a glass lightly | Main | Now the curtain opens on a portrait of today* »

March 08, 2009


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Did life become too easy after World War II? My best friends gave their lives in the far East in the air force while I worked at home due to limited service classification. It always seemed unfair to me, but who said life should be fair. We should be as kind as we may to those we love so that we may not be filled with regrets when life treats them unfairly.

Sissy, dear, was thinking today (as I tried to photograph a baby ocelot thru grimy plexiglass at the zoo), that the cats we both love do so enjoy life. And I agree that it so helps one endure the hole in our lfie left by losing those we love, to remember how that space once contained so much love, and pleasure.

WIth a human, one can also console oneself thinking of kind or noble deeds, things they did to help others, but with an animal one can often be consoled by thinking of ways they brought out the best in the people around them.

My brother and I once went roaming the streets of Marrakesh as children (parents asleep) when too young to do so safely. He was younger and self-importantly told me that I would be safe as he would protect me from the presumably evil-intentioned men. We got home safely after a few adventures to see a whole red tiled terrace in the hotel grounds with cats of every size and shape, hundreds of them, sleeping in the afternoon sun. It was winter, so they were glad of the warmth. They were a ragged bunch, street cats, but looked quite blissful. Some of the hotel workers were feeding them on the sly.

My brother and I sat there sipping lemonade speculating about how those hotel workers would likely go to heaven, regardless of their ostensible beliefs, for their unusual kindness. To see cats relaxed and sleepy who were normally wary of being kicked, stoned, was a true pleasure.

I have a hunch that your dear Baby Cakes brought out the best in the two of you again and again, as pets have a way of shaping our characters, and that every time you notice something you now do because of him, he will still live and bring you both pleasure. What a blessing they can be...

Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. It isn't for anyone else to say "you should be over it in **x** amount of time". Or "this is how you should feel now".

You will always miss Baby Cakes, sometimes more than others.

It is what it is.

Time does dim the sharpness because you move forward and create new memories but he remains always your Baby Cakes as he was. That's what life is and how the human race keeps going.

I'm glad you have the wonderful memories of him. Don't be afraid to miss him but do fill your life with love and happiness as a way to honor his memory.

I still, sharply, miss my beloved Boo and Rocky and they've been gone since 2000 and 1998 respectively. You grieve how you grieve and nobody, but nobody, has the right to tell you to stick to a schedule. I swore after I lost Boo (who was with me for 19 years from birth since I delivered him and Rocky) that there would never be another cat in my life - and then along came Sam. I love him in a different, sometimes exasperated way, but I love him to the depths of my soul. But I make it a policy never to try to compare him to Boo, since they are very different creatures - each special in a very individual way. And nobody, not even the remarkable BooBoo, could ever compare to the sweet charms of my beloved little Rocky, who was one of a kind in every way.

I mourn Baby as well. He was quite unique and individual and delightful in every way.

And I mourn for you and Tuck and Tiny because all of you loved Baby deeply (even though Tiny was reluctant to show that love).

Ah, how my heart aches for you.

It has now been 53 weeks since our Matata departed this world, and it is still a bittersweet pleasure to scroll through my site... or root through my computer folders... and encounter that myriad of photographs of her in all her gravitas and silliness. It will be much the same for you with Baby, whose life was so lovingly (and thoroughly, and expertly) documented.

Without the human capacity for love, we would feel a lot less pain... and how empty and dead our lives would be. And so the ability to feel pain is a gift; the prickly sort of gift that few appreciate. When you feel that pain, remember the love that created it... and you may smile.

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