12 August 2012

Brindle, In Memoriam

Sometimes the significant people we lose in our lives are cats. A number of years ago and a few weeks after my first cat "Merton the Tom" had to be put down, the vet brought over another cat that had been left on the hospital's door step about the time Merton died. It wasn't until a couple of months later that we discovered why "Brindle" had been abandoned --- she had a seizure disorder. Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I have struggled with a medically and surgically intractable seizure disorder, so the irony of inheriting a cat with epilepsy was not lost on me or any of my friends.

Still, her seizures were infrequent, usually minor, and didn't seem to get in her way. She prayed with me (well, she was with me when I prayed anyway), lay nearby as I studied or wrote (she learned to position her forearms on the corner of my computer away from the keys and usually had a paw on one of my typing hands), spent time with me in my patio in the sun or the shade while I read or prayed, chased anything I dangled or pulled around in front of her (shoelaces were her favorite thing) and, like all cats, slept a lot! She always knew when I was not feeling well, and usually crawled up next to me and placed her paw on my chin when that was true. (Otherwise she would crawl up on my chest and place her chin near mine.)

Friday night Brindle had a minor seizure, the second in about a month. She had stayed very close to me all evening before that. After the seizure, she recovered, walked about, ate and drank some, but her resting rate of respiration remained high. Soon thereafter she simply died. Whatever the cause, it seemed her heart just stopped. She was wonderful and loving with a terrific personality and I will miss her.

Post Script: My sincerest thanks to Aggie and John Malanca for their help in burying Brindle. Aggie provided the space under one of the plum trees in her back yard, flowers for the grave, and even a small ceramic cat for a headstone. He son John dug a grave in spite of the heat this afternoon, and allowed me to cry on his shoulder --- literally. I have never had a "big brother" and I am certainly older than John, but today it felt like I had a big brother for the first time in my life. It was hard to tell which touched me more, burying Brindle or this fraternal experience --- temporary as it was.