Slipping Her Earthly Bonds
By Gordon Cherr
I woke her from a sound sleep, her warm little body nestled deep in the covers of Corey’s old bed, where she always had found her deepest sleeps. Without much of the usual protest I carried her outside. It had been raining for three days and nights, but thankfully and as if on cue, the blessed warm sun came out and warmed the yard and us both.
We sat in the sun’s rays for a spell, looked at each other and talked of old times but not a word was spoken. Of fights and great battles, of walks through the woods near the Goose Pond. Of babies now grown and off to their own great adventures far away. Of those ignorant, silly dogs who vexed us both no end. Of quiet times together that no one else would ever know, of the places and adventures that only best friends can share. When only the two of you know, then merely a glance between you is all that is necessary. I understand you. You understand me. Don’t say a word, ok? Ok, I won’t.
But all too soon it was time to go. Hell, we had only been playing for time anyway these last few weeks. What is time anyhow? Nothing at all. A manmade convention, better off ignored, I would say. She would agree if I asked her. Time had no place in her life, no meaning, no importance, no nothing. I sleep when I choose, she would say. And eat. And hunt. And fight or purr. It was almost always on her time and her pace and her choice. So, she lived the independent life and we four were the lucky ones to be included when all others were not. She made us all feel very special, and to her I think we were.
Remember when ET and Elliot parted at the space ship? ET put his grizzled fingertip to Elliot’s temple and said “I’ll be right here.”..and time became meaningless for then they would remain together forever.
Her earthly body rests for eternity now under the thicket of bushes in front of the house where at her leisure she slept or spied on the neighborhood kids, dogs, cats or whomever might happen by. I’ll let you see me if I choose, but mostly I choose…not! She is still playing that game I guess. The dogs are wandering the house, looking for her here and there as they often did. They never could find her then if she so willed it. They still can’t find her now. I don’t know why they are looking; she sent them fleeing anyway, all the time. Well, not most recently when she made a concerted effort (well, for a cat anyway) to let them into her life, although just barely. Ha! She is gone again they must be thinking. She’ll be back, she always comes back…boy that cat is tricky. So, they’ll just keep looking I suppose. Dogs be that way.
Sharri and I keep looking too. And listening. Maybe out of habit, but after 19 years it is a difficult habit to break. I have grown to expect to be greeted by the breakfast demand in the morning and I am not used to the food bowl looking back at me, empty, and the water dish now completely dry, with no one standing over it expectantly, and scolding me not so gently for being just a little bit late in her feline opinion. The only opinion that ever mattered, if you had asked her. Actually, you didn’t need to ask, she gave her opinions quite freely at all times. If it suited her, of course.
The loving and warm kitchen where we all congregated throughout the day and into the night sits muted and ice cold. The shades are drawn, the lights turned down for now. I need some more time but what is time? I know that the sun will rise tomorrow just as surely as it must set tonight. There is no life without death, there is no death without life. “That’s way too deep,” she would say, and look away for a new adventure.
Besides, “I’ll be right here.”