Friday, January 25, 2008

cries and whiskers

yesterday the softest, sweetest cat in the universe - at least my universe - took her last journey over the rainbow bridge. we have been on watch the last couple of weeks and knew merlin would set off for that journey at any time. as merlin's life was good and sweet, her death could be seen as 'good' - she wasn't in pain, she was surrounded by love and she passed on her own peacefully.

the last few days have had all of us on heighten watch. everyone in the family - both human and feline have been aware that it was just a matter of time. everyone has been there for merlin. gwen who generally gives all other cats a lot of distance (except when at night when it's all cats aboard the bed) has spent a lot of daytime hours sleeping very near merlin. rosie, merlin's biological sister cat, spent an inordinate amount of time grooming merlin yesterday. could rosie have known yesterday was going to be 'the day.' it sure seemed as if she wanted to make sure merlin was looking her best. oddly seeing rosie and gwen with merlin my mind flashed with remembrances and images from one of my all time favorite movies, cries and whispers, while bergman's 'deathwatch' movie can be seen as dark and brooding, the watch here of merlin by her 'sisters' was not.

merlin was the type of cat one longs to have as part of one's pride. she was amazingly easy going, purred demurely at the slightest contact, and never minded being surrounded by a bunch of noisy and active children. in fact she loved kids and kids loved her. she was particularly fond of laps, especially when anyone was at the computer. merlin had a fairly long life - she was almost sixteen - not extraordinarily long but not too short of course I'd have wished many more years. it is written that 16 cat years translates to 80 human years. at one time 80 seemed old; but now 80 no longer seems old - my parents are in their eighties and I have good buddies approaching or in their eighties. today's 80s are yesterday's 60s - or so it would seem.

last night when I got home, I went right to merlin to check on how she was doing. I noticed her breathing was even more shallow than it had been a couple hours earlier. I picked her up from her little bed, wrapped her in a towel and held and petted her. I was blessed to be with merlin when she took the step out of her ninth life to cross over the rainbow bridge. over the bridge to the place where she will cavort with all who have preceded her and where she will wait for the rest of her pride. we will cross when it is our time.

pictures: top kitten merlin; insert a typical 4-cat night taken a few days ago; bottom two days ago, frail merlin

17 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

What a beautiful tribute, thank you! Your words made my heart feel so peaceful, helped me remember that all cycles of life are worth honoring. There's so much love in your post. Wow. Thank you!

Len said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

NCM said...

The litter that Merlin and her brothers, Ferris and Rollie, came from was a bunch of angel cats. We were so blessed to adopt the boys from your loving family all those years ago. I used to call Ferris the little Buddah boy, so wise and telepathic was he, while Rollie was by contrast more irritable and needy. But Merlin I remember as serene like Ferris with just the sweetest face. And I never met a cat her color, ever!
Happy reunion to the little siblings, however that may work, individually or in group soul..
Hey Kim, in my next life can I come back as one of your cats? Aum and blessings...NCM

d. chedwick bryant said...

no doubt she waited for you to come home.

she loved you and her home very very much.



I have lost a few furry brothers, and it is never easy. This is why I remain affectionate with Dennis despite his contrary ways. He can be a big love bug once in a while.

Salty Miss Jill said...

Sweet girl. She's in kitty heaven now.
Damn, now I have a lump in my throat.
I hope you're feeling OK, honey. :)My heart is with you.

zquilts said...

Dang ! I am at work and I am teary!
What a purrfect tribute. I had 10 feline friends at one point (which was too many for a "blended family"). We are at 4 now and my pride and joy, Odie, is 19. He still is almost as active as a kitten. Asks for his daily vitiman E and is still the apple of our hearts. When my Chellie passed (she was especially special to me)I embarrassed myself by wailing like some sort of banshee.It's been 4 years now and I still miss her terribly. I expect that she will be waiting for across the veil. Be well and take care.

Julien said...

oh, I'm so sorry too for your loss :(
I'll remember Merlin too ;)
I'll talk to you later...

Gary said...

Merlin seems to have had a wonderful life full of love and peace. What more could anyone ask for? Sorry that she could not stay with you longer but I hope you remain grateful for the time you shared.

Colette Amelia said...

oh me oh my I need a tissue. Hugs to you and the family.

phd girl said...

I currently have 3 cats, and one is almost 20 yrs. old. He still frisky, but we do check him when he's napping to be sure he is still with us. He's been with us through so much, I can't imagine him going ... I can't imagine it.

kimy said...

reya - so true and thanks

ncm - merlin's mom, the notorious ms tibbs, had twelve kittens in her two litters. all beautiful cats with such diverse personalities - and a few buddha nature kitties. ferris and rollie were lucky to have you as their human mom. it's down to just three surviving cats. if you come back as one of my cats I'll spoil and love you like crazy. but I'd do that now too, you know.

ched - sometimes brothers can only show their love by being contrary and at times obnoxious. dennis is lucky that you are so open and sweet.

julien - bises

salty, z & ca - sorry to get you guys choked up. thanks.

gary - love and peace. that's what all beings need and deserve.

phd girl- a 20 years old cat,that is wonderful. I hope he continues being frisky and breaks the records for feline lifespan! thanks for dropping in to the mouse - your blog is very educational and fun! greenland, eh??

intact said...

((( hugs )))

gayé said...

I am so sorry for your loss also, and thank you for sharing the thoughts and the tribute to Merlin. It seems Merlin had a wonderful life and was / is very much loved. Lucky cat! Lucky you! :)
hugs,
gx

Maurice said...

I can't say I'm enamoured with the feline race what with me being a mouse and all that. But as cats go (and I prefer them to go) Merlin seemed to be a decent sort. RIP.

jude said...

beautiful and comforting post. thank you.

WAT said...

Aw, sweet little kitty poo.

That makes me wanna cry...

Goodbye Merlin. Animals are wonderful.

lettuce said...

this is a lovely and sad post, how beautiful the way all of her family - all of you - watched with her.