Death, the undiscovered country,
From whose bourn no traveler returns…
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet
At fifteen years old, he lived the equivalent of 76 humans years and he battled health problems the whole way, yet he never suffered needlessly. No, I can never watch an animal suffer.
I did not think Grendel would survive long enough to make the move to East Texas earlier this year, yet as he always did he proved me wrong by rallying, holding his head up and marching proudly and strongly through another woeful bout of poor health. But all things end, all things wither and die, from stars to people to domestic cats, thus his years came to a close today when his failing body offered more pain and problems than we could conquer.
How I will miss Sponge, the cat who never met a stranger and who always accepted affection from anyone within arm’s reach. I will miss him wrapping his paws around my arm and pulling it to him to use as a pillow. I will miss the gentle monster who rode in my lap three hours with nary a complaint, interrupting my driving only when he wanted a reassuring scratch, a kind word, a look to tell him things would be okay.
Today marks the end of an era, an era of rich and full living, an era of love, an era of triumph. Though his body wished to give up long ago, his soul wouldn’t dream of giving up too soon.
Today marks the end of an era. Today Grendel hunts in the universe’s vast jungle. Today he became a lion.