16 June 2009
Thoughts on a Bloomsday
Today is Bloomsday, which is a day we always mark in some way or another in our house. As you may remember, the first cat that The Tim and I had after we were married was named Molly Bloom, as we had determined that her actual birthday was close to, or actually on, June 16. She was truly a cat among cats, and at a minimum, every year on this day we drink a toast to her memory.
An hour or so ago, I received an e-mail from my sister Nancy, who lives in California, to let me know that this morning, she had to have her cat, Skitzy, put to sleep. I never got to meet Skitzy, but in pictures she was a very pretty Maine Coon, and stories about her made her sound like she had quite a personality. The Tim got to meet her once, and said she was quite sweet and affectionate. Anyway, Nancy mentioned in her e-mail that she knew that Skitzy was failing, but it was still a hard day. Which is completely understandable to me.
And it got me to thinking about pets, people, and loss. For The Tim and I, Molly Bloom was our first cat together, and his first cat ever. She moved around with us, traveled with us, played with us, attacked us, and was always available to comfort us. We still miss her, even though now it's been about 10 years since she died. Because she was part of our family, as all of our pets have been, and as any pets I had growing up were. Nancy and her family have also had other cats, but that doesn't mean that Skitzy's death is any less sad for them.
I know, for instance, that Skitzy kept Nancy company when her husband was working late, or out of town, especially now that her kids are grown and live elsewhere. We are enough alike that I know that she probably spent a lot of her time at home talking to Skitzy, about anything and everything.
Like people, pets are each one unique. Often times they are luckier than people in death, as I believe Skitzy was. Doesn't each of us wish that in our last conscious moments, we could have the ones who mean the most to us right there with us? To be surrounded by the ones who you love, and who love you and have given you the best life they could? As far as I'm concerned, this must be the meaning of the term I have heard, a "happy death." We should all be so lucky when our turn comes around.
And so I ask you to raise a glass today on Bloomsday, in honor and memory of not only Skitzy, but all of the sweethearts in our lives that have made them funnier, sweeter, more worth living, and always more interesting.