Love Lives On

This has been a Summer of profound loss-and I am doing my very best to keep it together right now.  The subject matter is loss of a beloved pet, so if you want to move on, well, I understand.

We live on a farmette, seven acres of trails, orchards, gardens and cats.  At one point we were feeding 17 stray cats-we didn’t have a pot to piss in, but we fed those babies.  When you live out in the country, people drop off unwanted animals.   They come in all sorts and sizes, and the end result is always the same-we love them, they pass on, we bury them.  In the Winter of 2004, we were cat free.  During a blizzard, I happened to look out of my laundry room window-there she was, a beaten up, starving kitten.  It took months for her to acknowledge me, but I fed her twice a day and as she was full of piss and vinegar, tended to her wounds, her babies, and her voracious appetite.  We couldn’t afford to have her fixed at the time, and she was the grandmother/mother of every cat I now own.  I named her Precious, because she was just that.

The other night I awoke to an ungodly sound.  Jesse, my golden retriever and I headed for the front door-and as soon as I opened it?  The sound disappeared.  The other morning, I heard it again, even with my headphones on.  A sinking feeling in my gut, I counted each and every feline:  where was Precious?  It is impossible to check every inch of this property, but she never misses a meal, and in my heart of hearts I know she is no longer mine.  We never stop loving the animals who have passed, they are our children and the pain may soften, but guaranteed, it will put you down on your knees again: a picture, a song, or even a trip to the vet can cause a reemergence of grief.

In loving memory of Precious Hoffman.  Your heart will live on.

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