My elder cat died today. He was not my first cat ever, but he was my first purely indoor cat. He was my support animal. And I think he still is, honestly, it’s just that now he’s a spirit or a ghost rather than a physical body. It really doesn’t matter because I loved him hard as I could while he was alive. I took the time to appreciate him while I still had him.
Every year, at least once a year, I take time to think of what it’s like to live without my glorious Bill Kitty. I cry, I get upset, and I vow to take better care of him for the rest of his life. I only have the time in which he is alive, after all, to imprint myself upon him and he upon me.
The Great Spirit tells me that he is no longer in pain. Pain is something only the physical body can experience in most cases. The only thing that causes spirits pain is anger and hatred directed at them. Well, since I have no anger and no hatred for my baby, I’m pretty sure he’ll live pain-free now.
For eighteen long years he served me as a service animal. I’m an autistic woman with very little kenning of the Real World(tm) for other humans. You all say you love each other then you turn around and hurt each other on purpose, just to say you’re sorry and do it again. As if you cannot grow up and resolve the issue causing the problem to be a better person.
You expect every human being to have infinite patience for your childishness. You expect every human being to put up with your inability to grow. You decide not to grow.
But not my Bill kitty. He grew with me. His spirit grew larger and larger. His spirit is one hundred times the size of his 20 pound body that now lays to rest in my back yard. I marked his grave with a pile of rocks. I wish I had something to plant him underneath, but I don’t right now.
A morbid part of me plans to dig him up in a year or two and keep his bones. An eternal keepsake to remind me of his living flesh. Part of me wants to run off to the tattoo parlor and put his paw print on my arm. Part of me wants to wallow in misery and tears for weeks on end, as if life does not go on. Part of me wants to tear the rest of me out of this equation and just continue as we always do: with grace.
My resolve is this: I owe it to my other two cats to snap back. I owe it to the people who depend on me to stay alive. I owe it to myself, too, because I’ve already just spent the last 18 months grieving his death. I knew it would come. There are two things you can be sure of in life: death and death. I hope taxes become a thing of the past, because money is basically pointless.
I did not live up to my own expectations. I have not lived up to them for years now. Two years, to be precise. I think I can come back from the dead now… At least, finally, my soul stirs and has a desire outside of SSDD. I’ve been living SSDD for more than a year and it’s tiring all on its own, really. There isn’t much to punctuate a difference in anything.
But today, I can choose to pick myself up off the ground. Today, I can choose to live again. Today, I can realize that it’s not the end of the world to put down my cat, whose hind legs failed him just this morning. Thankfully, my mother was able to call around and find a veterinarian that had space to administer the injection to take him to passing. He’d just started getting upset he couldn’t walk when we got into the car, which was about two hours after his first struggle and flop onto the ground this morning. I’m just glad he got his final kitty treats right before that. The treats always made him feel special, especially when I’d give him a few several times a day. You have no idea how much food equates to love with any pet or animal.
I’m glad I was here for him in his final moments. He’s not the only senior member of my tribe struggling; my father is in the hospital again. This is the 8th time this year at least. I rather hope he also ditches his Earthly body; this time he went in with a complaint of immense pain that not even opioids could touch. He doesn’t take opioids unless he absolutely cannot stand life, so I know his pain must be incredible.
It’s really a shame that euthanasia for human beings is considered wrong. I think he might be at the point where he’d want that.
I really think it’d be a great idea, honestly. Then we could celebrate those who are ready to take the next step in the circle of life. They could send out party invitations, have balloons, flowers, cake and ice cream. Or a dinner party, or a grill party, or whatever the hell they enjoy. They could invite all the people they’ve ever known over, and the guests would know it’s the last party, the last hurrah.
People could make peace without regrets, then. They could choose to put aside their obstinacy and embrace those who are ready to pass, ready to make room for the other animals of God’s kingdom.
We could celebrate the culmination of all accomplishments and allow our elders to pass with dignity. To allow people to escape their bodily pain. If our spirits continue on after the envelope expires, though, it’s possible that mental anguish will continue beyond the grave.
Additionally, I think trees would be better grave markers than headstones. All life should give life to other life once it begins to decay; it’s going to, anyway, it’s just a matter of time. Even embalming fluid breaks down eventually, you know. It degrades with the rest of your goop in some coffin that looks like a cute-ass resting place. If you care so much about a box made from a LIVING CREATURE like a TREE, maybe you should sleep in it to get more use out of it than the final use: your death.
That tree has the right to be alive, you know. Yet, we cut them down every day just to repurpose them into junk we throw away. A coffin. We put a coffin in the ground. We kill a living creature to wrap up a non-living creature, a body without animation. A body that is not even the essence of the animal anymore, just a lump of decaying matter. That is what we do. What is wrong with us? Why do we kill a hundreds-of-years old creature to decorate death?
And that is why I want to be buried without embalming fluid or anything and a tree planted on top of me. I wish to nourish that tree. You can paint a rock if you want to see my resting place. I suggest you don’t bother, however, because the spirit exits the body with the final breath. It continues to be sustained in the cosmic background radiation energy until, about one hundred years later, when nobody remembers it anymore, it returns to the aether. Too bad Jesus Christ can never return, since we won’t let his memory die to begin with.