Yesterday we put to rest the three oldest members of our animal family.
These members of the family were part of "us" even longer than I was. They have been with Shel and I as long as we have been together. Sadie, Gina and Angel were the three remaining cats from the family I joined when I met Shel. I joke about the first "big" fight that Shel and I had and how I told her that she needed to pick between me or the cats (at the time there were Buddy, Sadie, Simon, Gina, Georgie, Angel, Tiger and Foxie). She said "see ya later" to me so I left and slept in the front seat of tinkey winkey for the night. (That tells you how long ago it was because there is no way I could fit my fat body onto the front seat of tinkey for the night now!) After a night in the truck I reconsidered my position and withdrew my ultimatum because it was made painfully obvious to me that Shel was not going to part with the feline members of the family, even for me. (and I like to think I am somewhat of a "prize!)
We have moved more times than I care to remember and before they met me they moved a few times as well. They started out their lives in sunny Southern California and went from there to Utah and from Utah to Canada. When they arrived in Canada in November of 2003 I think they must have thought we were out of our minds because the temperature that balmy day was -26 degrees Celsius. Since we have been in Canada they have lived in three different homes and put up with the additions over the years of four dogs and two additional cats. They have outlived two of our dogs and five of their litter mates, so I am sure there was quite a reunion for them as they passed to the other side.
I know they have had wonderful lives. This summer in particular they spent a lot of time outside and we were even able to lure Sadie out of doors a few times. One by one we have said goodbye to other members of the family and not one farewell has been easy, but we have never said goodbye to three at once and that made things extra hard. Shel made sure they ate like kings for the last few days and we emptied more than one grocery shelf of tuna on their behalf. One by one yesterday morning Shel held them as they crossed over and we took them home to be buried next to Shiloh.
We knew the weather was changing so we wanted to be sure to get them buried last night. After the kids were in bed we went outside to dig their grave. By this time it was pitch black out and so we dug by the hole with the aid of the van headlights. Though the moment itself wasn't particularly humorous I am certain the whole herd of them were laughing at us as our bodies blocked the headlights and we tried to dig a hole we couldn't see!
We buried them with the items they were dragging when the day started, because what would their journey to the other side be like if they didn't have a pair of my underwear pulled behind them. Underwear, socks and a slipper went with them and I finally was able to let go of my Muk also. I am certain people think I am a loon, but I have had the ashes of my beloved Mukiwa with me in Tinkey Winkey since she passed. Now she is at rest with the rest of our original family, with the cats that raised her.
Travel well my friends. Thank you for accepting me into your lives. You are already missed more than you will know.
I don't have a lot of hope in things, but I do have hope you will all be waiting for me when it is my turn to cross the great divide.
P.S. Just so Shel won't miss you so much I promised to drag my clothing around the house and make loud mewling sounds when everyone was asleep.