10 January 2007

January 10

About 1:00 a.m. I woke up in a terrible fright. I thought Rob had died beside me in bed. I woke up shaking and thinking of death, couldn't go back to sleep for a while. At 6:30 a.m. Rob woke me up and gently told me our sweet old Methuselah cat, Miss Mary, had died in the night. I wondered if maybe that's what had effected me. Maybe an angel of death had flown over us?

We buried her in the evening, in the front flower bed where she loved to lie smiling against the house, belly up to the sun. It was the spot where I once planted a peony, but the cat smothered it. Nothing would keep her from her favorite place.

This was our party of mourners (minus me, of course, behind the camera): The Ancestor, Rob's grandma and mum, Rob, and our sweet friends from next door. The children were especial mates of the old, deaf, and slightly senile Miss Mary; they loved to share bagels and jam with her on sunny afternoons. We said a few words, put her tiny body in the ground, said a little prayer, cried, and ate fancy cookies.

I can't decide if I should plant catnip or another peony over the spot next spring.

11 comments:

b. said...

I vote peony.

Geo said...

Seems fitting, doesn't it? Maybe I'll plant both and next year have catnip tea with the kids next door, in Miss Mary's honor.

liz said...

:(

so sad.

cat nip for memory AND peony for joy in life.

Geo said...

Yep, I agree, liz. And delicate roots and bones may entertwine . . .

Elizabeth said...

I love that you all gathered to honor the cat. I'm sure she would have been pleased.

Geo said...

Probably more pleased if instead of fancy cookies we'd eaten bagels and jam and potato chips, her favorite treats!

Geo said...

P.S. I'm here to tell you that very old cats and very old women are very similar not only in their temperaments but also in their preferences for junk food!

compulsive writer said...

I was going to say "both." But I see you're already a step ahead of me!

Geo said...

In this instance only, c-dub. You are the trend-setter, my friend!

moiety said...

Geo, don't know if you catch comments this stale relative to the post they associate with, and maybe this is just a comment and not even a request to initiate a conversation . . .

The composition of the mourning party catches in my throat here, that and the poignant story that seems implicit in the people and their expressions and my active imagination's reconstruction of what this learning exercise might have/must have meant. I love/d Miss Mary too (remotely, sure), but the precognition of other Death, and the demonstration of the tenderness and love through which we experience it, are so obviously so much more Potent and Terrible when they loom over loved People - no matter how remotely. This photo and your description of the circumstances make me want to nicer to everyone, to gentle all the mutable externals surrounding the immutable, crucible, interior elements of life in this world.

And I'll miss your Romero-looking cat, who was an incarnation of the dangers in assuming that the inward cat, or other personality, is some simple function of the outward appearance.

Chemical Billy said...

Alas for Miss Mary...