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April 21, 2020: Eulogy for Grey Baby

I called my sister Eleanor in Portland, OR this morning. She then gave me the bad news. Gray Baby, her cat, wasn’t doing well. She was not peeing or pooping or drinking and was dehydrated. This, in El’s estimation, meant that it was time to have Gray Baby to be sent on to greener pastures.

El was uncertain; as is often the case with animals, we wonder when they are ill if it’s time to have them euthanized. This is the responsibility that is inherent to animal ownership. Their love for us (for the most part) is unconditional, so in the end we often have to weigh the variables and then act in their best interest.

Grey Baby

Grey Baby’s love for humans was not at all unconditional. She was a very difficult cat. This is because she had an up and down life. She loved my mother, her first owner. But my mother in her final years made several moves, and this didn’t go over well with this cat, who was a creature of routine. Then, after our mother died, El inherited the cat. Grey Baby and Pumpkin, her other cat, did not hit it off because Pumpkin was a bully. Then, there was a lot of hissing and spitting going on.

Gray Baby took a turn for the worst after Pumpkin died. She became nasty, hostile, and aggressive. I had El talk with an animal communicator – this and a change of diet, to Little Frisky’s shreds, resulted in a turn around.

For the past three years El and Gray Baby have gotten along just fine.

Me, I’m not a cat person. I like the ones that are like dogs; however, I’ve gone with the real thing. Gray Baby knew this, and I knew this, and we just kept our distance from one another. This worked well for us both.

I am, however, feeling bad, as bad as I’ve felt about the death of our dogs. Yes, I feel that bad. This to me, is the true meaning of empathy – that is, to feel another’s grief. Right now, we are all disheartened by what’s going on politically – there is no strong leadership. Our lives, and especially those who live in cities, have been turned topsy turvy. I have Pete. El had Gray Baby. Now, she’s all alone.

El said that after Grey Baby passed on, that she’d get some travelling in before getting a kitten and a puppy. The bitch of it is, right now, and most likely for some time, there are going to be travel restrictions. Not a good time to go, cat.

It does not help matters that Gray Baby’s decline coincides with the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death which is tomorrow. This is not coincidence. This is happenstance. There are 365 days in the year, why now?

I wish right now that there were no travel restrictions. If this was so, I would right now be headed, via plane, down to Portland. And there I would stay until my sister felt better. The best I can do, at the distance, is empathize.

Next: 112. 4/22/20: Postcards from the Edge

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