Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Breaking tradition

I am going to jump tradition here and make a second entry before Prayas comes back into the mono/dialogue. It is a week - a year - a month for breaking traditions. Every moment is.

Tomorrow, at 6pm CST, I am putting my nearly 21-year old cat to sleep. Her name is Scotch. I love her very, very much. She is in my lap as I am writing, barely able to keep on my lap. She has suffered nobly through many weird illnesses - jaundice four years ago, asthma, kidney disease, and now a bad liver, to keep by my side. I have had this cat longer than I had a mother. She is, in a lot of ways, a core portion of my life. I rotate how I travel around her, and she certainly has always had a lot to say about my latest flings or long-term lovers. In a lot of ways, I sensed I would have to let her go as part of "this", whatever "this" is, this Saturn Return, this Turning of the Clock in my life which is happening so fast and far and clear. I never realized I would have to be the one to decide. I kept hoping she would decide somehow. But it is up to me.

Both my parents are dead. All my grandparents are dead. I have gone through godparents, friends. This has been my plot for years. I am ready to change the tape. Tonight, talking to my housemate and good friend Erika, I realized why it had not heretofore crossed my mind to ever put her to sleep, even though she has been quite sick: why would I CHOOSE death when it has chosen my family, my life, so often.

But it is time. I am ready to choose, and so is Scotch. I have lined up good friends who know her and love her - some for more than 5 years, to be here when we put her to sleep. Her vet, from the venerable Cat Care Clinic (so much thanks to Page for sending me there when she moved to Toronto), who's name is Mandy, will be here to do it at home. And Mandy is bringing a cd. She says that over a week ago, she started thinking about Scotch a LOT and had no idea why. Then, a coworker brought in a cd, and she swears track 11 makes her think of Scotch everytime. So she is bringing me a copy. When I spoke with the vet on the phone from her home tonight, she cried and told me I was making the right choice. It will be hard but I will be in good company.

It seems almost absurd. Honestly. Katrina. Tsunami. Floods. Mass death everywhere. But I figure to honor such a small, sentient life is not to dishonor starving children even right here in the United States. It is to honor Life as a specific concept. And Death.

So blessings to Scotch on this transition. She has gone off to bed and I will join her now. Not sure how much we will sleep but tomorrow will be a new day. And I look forward, with shaky eyes, to whatever or whoever it is that will come into my life as part of letting her go.

3 comments:

  1. > It seems almost absurd. Honestly.
    > Katrina. Tsunami. Floods. Mass
    > death everywhere.

    But death and life don't matter at all, unless each and every one matters... don't you think? I don't think you need to spare an instant on the thought that it's absurd to cherish and mourn any life, no matter how "small." After all it's also your life that we're talking about.

    much love

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  2. << So blessings to Scotch on this transition. She has gone off to bed and I will join her now. Not sure how much we will sleep but tomorrow will be a new day. And I look forward, with shaky eyes, to whatever or whoever it is that will come into my life as part of letting her go. >>

    Maybe parts of you will unfurl in the memory - of Scotch, of times when making a decision was not vital or urgent. Of when time was roller-skating down, with no road-blocks.

    It will be many more friends, beings whom you allow the trust - to get close, to understand - to keep pace.

    You are noticing a pattern here - in your life, in the world and that fills you with pathos... but that pattern is part of other patterns and "multi-dimensional".

    << It is to honor Life as a specific concept. And Death. >>

    A beautiful way of putting it. Strength with you.

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  3. i am now in california, staying with my new close friend brian awehali, who founded lip magazine. we have talked ceaselessly all morning about sentient beings, about opening to animals and crisis, about his 16 year old living dog and scotch, my 21 year old dead cat. i appreciate both of your comments. in particular, i am feeling the trade off somehow of newer, sentient (animals and humans) i am allowing in. and in some ways, allowing myself in more now. i miss her, but other animals have sensed that and come to me and cuddled. it is a good, hard world. lots of fur and skin.

    thank you both.
    miri

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