Yesterday was a hard day for us. After several bad weekends our sweet little cat Antigone had to be put down.
Two weekends ago she suffered from congestive heart failure; last weekend she was in kidney failure, we patched her up as best as one can patch up a 19 year old kitty and kept her comfortable, sort of. This week she looked so uncomfortable, listless, wheezing, fluid pouring from her sad eyes.
We knew but wanted to pretend otherwise.
David set an appointment with the veterinarian; in addition to her other complications, her lungs were infected. Completely treatable but to what end? If my dear Chihuahua Speck had such an infection he would be pumped full of antibiotics pronto; but poor Tiggy, what would we be accomplishing ? We made an ambivalent/determined decision and stuck with it until the final solution did its job. Even as that odious pink fluid flooded her little three pound body I wanted to scream for it to stop. But it didn’t and we chose the right path .
What had been her sick room, the little “Chinois” computer room is still littered with the detritus of her decline; David couldn’t bear to remove her presence so swiftly. I’m so pragmatic at times but what I wanted to do was preempt the sorrow of her loss. Her loss, the passage of all that we love is so inevitable, so common yet so fresh and harsh each and every time. Fate made her point in that one year ago yesterday, as we were putting down Antigone, we had put down our odd and sweet and grumpy daschund Buddy. Wishing them both a safe passage to whatever the hell happens next.
With pets dying, with Antigone particularly, they represents milestones in one’s own life. Like the good lesbians that we are, David and I adopted Antigone as a kitten only a few weeks after we met and a few weeks before renting a U-Haul moving van. That was over 18 nears ago , best decisions I have made.
She had been our companion on this adventure ever since and now she isn’t. New adventures, life to be lived as fully as possible await but last evening we toasted her with the best thing we had in the house, a 1999 bottle of Dom Perignon ( I wished it had been 1995 her birth year, but so it goes).
So to Tiggy and to Buddy and to Daisy and one day to one another; resolving to honor this light as well as I am able.
Be well, Lg
p.s. the figurine at the top of this post had been of four, lovely little things; upon first adopting the little monkey, Antigone quickly shattered its mate in her kittenish enthusiasm. I’m still sore over that.
6 thoughts on “The Passing of Light”
Len, I just read your Passing of Light and your story about Antigone and the other precious pets you lost. I love this Boondocks Babylon site. I know how it is to lose a pet. Critter is hanging on and better with her thyroid meds. I have asked her not to leave me yet. I think she heard me. Antigone was such a beautiful cat with lovely markings and colors. Grief is heavy now. You will eventually feel less pain, but you will never forget her. Love to you and Dave.
You are a darling Aunt Beverly, tremendous love to you and to tenacious Critter.
Leonard, just to say I feel for you mate, sorry to hear about Antigone. Your writing really sums up the gut wrenching pain of losing a much loved pet and companion in life. These little friends touch is in a very special way, a toast to them indeed. Lots of love, Phil
Thank you friend!It’s better today.
There’s no comfort at a time like this. But as the months pass, you will find that Antigone is less defined in your mind by her decline and passing, which was brief in a 19 year span, and more by the delights and pleasures of your lives together. It all passes so quickly, It seems that only yesterday my own Jack was a pup scampering about and creating havoc, and now he’s a lively though relatively distinguish old gentleman of eleven years. There is something so poignant in the notion that we treat them as the babies they are when they come to us, see them through the teenage years and into proper adulthood, and then suddenly, in animal years they are no longer level-pegging with us, but moving beyond and into old-age. He creaks a little at the corners now, and grumbles in his sleep, and I count the weeks, months, years with misgivings, hoping for the best, but knowing that one day… one day…
You did the right thing, my friend.
To quote what Bette Davies once embroidered onto a cushion, ‘Old age ain’t no place for Sissies!’
Dear Clive, somehow I missed this. Thank you for your kind words. Antigone’s ashes arrived only the other day, so odd and of course so inevitable. I feel I see her little head popping up from “her” dining chair now and then, often I hear her funny voice. The memories linger for a time and then they too will fade, as I will . My fascination with memento mori stems from this fact.