YOU’LL HEAR FROM ME LATER. BUSY DAY, AND STILL GRIEVING THE DEATH OF ELLA, OUR PRECIOUS DARK TORTOISESHELL CAT ON TUESDAY EVENING. SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN TWELVE IN MAY.
RIP, DEAREST KITTY. FOR TWO YEARS YOU GRACED OUR LIVES WITH SUNSHINE AND LOVE. WHEN YOU BECAME ILL WE LOVED CARING FOR YOU AND PROVIDING EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED. YES, YOUR ABSENCE IS INCREDIBLY PAINFUL, BUT YOUR LITTLE BODY GAVE OUT, AND TO PROLONG IT BECAUSE WE NEEDED YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN CRUEL.
One of the veterinarians who had cared for Ella was Michael Sueda, DVM, an internal medicine specialist with California Veterinary Specialists, about a forty minute drive from our home. I’d call at his request each week to report on Ella and get his advice. This message was enclosed in the sympathy card we received, and it spoke to my heart.
“We who chose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.”
Ella came to us because our daughter-in-law developed a life-threatening allergy to cats after having had her for ten years. We knew Ella would end her life with us and thereby break our hearts, but our son and his wife needed us. Ella needed us. And we already loved her.
Everywhere we turn there are memories of Ella. This morning I opened a closet in our den, and my throat tightened because she was not in one of her usual spots in it — on top of the bedside unit used for storage, on the floor on papers or high up, crouched on my sewing box.
She was a house cat, and every day she’d jump up to a window, meow for us to open it and settle in to watch for birds, studying anything that moved, even if it were only a leaf shifting in the breeze.
We’ve made a small cache under a table in our living room of things that remind us of her presence. They will not always be necessary, but, for now, they keep her image alive for us as we recover from her absence. Her pink food dish and favorite water bowls, some toys, the plastic food container clearly marked ELLA’S FOOD, her brush and the prescription bottle once containing her daily medication chronicle her time with us.
After her nap, she would sit on the carpet beside the table and meow to be brushed. The moment I picked it up a wonderful purr rumbled in her throat. It was a special time for the two of us, and it is important that her brush be in this small collection.