End of an era

Death, the undiscovered country,
From whose bourn no traveler returns…
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet

A close-up of Grendel, one of my cats, as he lies in a doorway (2009_03_01_011678)

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.

3 thoughts on “End of an era”

  1. My throat’s closed up reading your loving remembrance. I had a
    Grendel look-alike for a while; she died in my arms, in rigor,
    after my vet performed a thyroidectomy to try to correct a stubborn
    hormonal problem and couldn’t get the post-operative hormone
    replacement dosage correct. Like Grendel, my cat was 15.

  2. Clearly a cat who was confident of his place in his/your world, and
    who despite persistent health problems, lived content in the glow
    of your love for him. (And his for you.) You might have wished that
    he hadn’t been compromised with such a catalogue of ailments,
    except of course they were things that probably caused you more
    distress than him. He, after all, KNEW he was lion! My thoughts are
    with you.

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