Monday, January 23, 2006

Our Zen Master

There's a quote somewhere that goes " I have met three zen masters in my life and they were all cats." The photo is of Brendan, AKA The Perfect One. Brendan is 16 now and has outlived his brother, Finnegan by a year and a half. His motto is "Everything in Moderation." He picked Olof out at the shelter with just one little tilt to the head and his big tiger kitten eyes. He and Silas get along perfectly, they are both easy going peaceable guys. He has been Olof's best buddy all his life.

It is snowing here today, much desired. I woke up and realized once again, that Fergus was not curled up next to me. It seems like morning is the hardest part of the day. If I work on something that is a good distraction, then I can get through ok. Evening is hard too, as soon as I went upstairs, Ferg would be hopping up on my lap to be sure Brendan wouldn't get it. Then he could stretch out full length and do his best to ignore Brendan's longing look. Somehow Olof, became the less desired lap for a short period there. Don't know why. Silas is not much of a lap cat so some nights I am cat less now.

I remember when I lost Finnegan (a story I will write someday here) someone writing on the cat loss group said that grief is like waves of the ocean. At first they come one right after the other and then, as time passes, you keep riding up and down but the waves are further apart.

I know we still mourn for Seamus, the little guy we lost on the road ages ago. And my mother says she misses all of her cats. We don't forget them.

My mother told me once she had a dream she died and woke up in her bed in heaven and all the animals she had ever loved were coming to meet her. I love that image. If that is heaven, it is ok by me. More than ok, if Ferg is there.

I did dream about Fergus the night before last. I dreamed I was in a meadow by a river and a man wearing white was there and he had Fergus in his arms. He said to me " I'm sorry, I did the best I could."
Then he said, "you did the best you could."
Fergus was afraid of me, which hurt me. He remembered I had left him at the vet's. Then he remembered how I loved him and the two of us went for a walk along the river. Then we lay down and took a nap together, Fergus on my stomach, like he liked to do.

I have also felt his lightweight touch landing on the bed sometimes. It's like losing an arm, you get phantom limb syndrome, this is phantom cat syndrome. I felt it with Finnegan too. But it wouldn't surprise me at all if Fergus is here, Silas has been running around at night playing, so maybe he's got company. I have a small batch of soft Ferg fur left on his chair. I help it out to Silas and he thouroughly smelled it and then he purred and purred.

Day by day.

I was finishing up this somewhat scattered post when Olof called from the studio and told me to come out there, some wild animal had broken in. My room was a mess, something had come in from the garage, climbed up on the dropped ceiling ( seeking heat) and then fell through into the room and couldn't get out. It tore everything apart and finally managed to get out the way it came in. Maybe I will post a photo later. We don't get a lot of feral cats out here but that's what it looks like. I collected some poop and maybe Fish and Game can id it for me.


Anonymous said...

How strange! I hope you figure out what (who?) was behind the mess in your studio.

That's so sweet about Silas. He felt comforted by the smell of Fergus.

Eponine's Cowboy said...

I very much love that image of heaven.

The Meezers said...

Someone told me a long time ago that animals don't feel loss when a housemate dies. I know for a fact that is not true because Norton began acting really weird after Ralphie died - he had never played with any toys before because he had a little brother, but he started gathering all of the toys up and "chatting" with them in the middle of the night. He would carry them around in his mouth constantly. After about a year and a half, I got Sammy, and Norton stopped the bizarre behavior immediately - I swear it's because he knew that Ralphie had picked Sammy for me, and that his brother was now home. So, I'm sure Silas is feeling a loss and perhaps can feel Fergus in the middle of the night, like Norton did with Ralphie. And when the time comes to meet Fergus at the Rainbow Bridge, he will not be afraid of you at all.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with M's Mom - I can't imagine anyone thinking that pets aren't attached to each other. When I was a teenager, our little dog Muffy died. Our cat, Cookie, definitely grieved - went around the house "crying." Mom brought home another pup a few months later - who Cookie did not like at all at first (she and Muffy had been best friends - they napped back to back). But she stopped her grieving - because she had a pup to train.

When our cat Charcoal died, my Heather stuck to me like glue. But when I sat down, she went from room to room. I know she was looking for Charcoal.

I believe Silas and Fergus were a yin-yang couple, from how you've described them. I'm certain that Silas feels that loss, and it's good that you are seeing it and giving him what comfort you can.