Remember that you will die.
I put my cat down on Sunday. She was old when I adopted her, and had early signs of kidney failure.
Her name was Brittle, but I changed it to Jules, short for Juliette, after a badass heroin from Hugh Howey’s Wool Trilogy.
The shelter workers asked, “Are you sure you want her, she’s really old and she doesn’t do much.”
“That is precisely the kind of animal I am looking to adopt.” I replied.
Work and lacrosse games had me in and out of my apartment often, and I wanted an animal that could mostly take care of itself. Plus, she was the only cat in the shelter that was nice to me. So I took Jules home.
Jules was an old lady, set in her ways. She expected food at 6AM and 4:30PM, plenty of time to nap in a sunbeam, and occasional head scratches.
I joked with my sister that my cat did not cat very well. She was a touch uncoordinated. Often misjudging the distance or height of a jump, falling, and then scampering away as if to say, “YOU DIDN’T SEE THAT!” She loved her spot on the couch, eventually got cozy on her cat tree, and would get sun drunk in the western window of my apartment. That was hysterical, as she would stumble out from behind the drapes when she was too hot.
Knowing she was an older cat, I thought I was prepared for her inevitable death. I still sobbed. This tiny fur ball was in a shelter for almost four years, and just wanted to enjoy her sunset years in peace. I gave her as peaceful an existence as I could, but I was unable to maintain a stoic countenance when the time came.
This was the first time in quite a while that I cried. You may think that my experiences with depression have inured me to grief. No, I feel it more deeply, I think. Jules was with me on good days and awful days. A constant, sometimes annoying, companion that made me smile even when I felt I had nothing to smile about.
All go to the same place. All came from the dust and all return to the dust.
I’ll miss you Jules.