Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
I am unabashed when I say I loved, loved, loved Magnolia, my cat. She was with me for 20 years, and when I met Big Papa, with us, and then Little Bird too. We called her Maggie, Maggie Moose or simply Moose. She followed us—everywhere—the best companion one could hope for: our bathing assistant whenever one of us took a shower or bath, at the dinner table in her own seat, nestled between us every night (or an inch away from Big Papa’s nose), always nearby whether we were gardening, doing office work, or hanging out with friends and family.
Oh how her silly antics made us laugh, like the time she sat near the Christmas train set that wrapped around the tree, backing her booty up closer and closer until the train goosed her as it rolled along the track. She let out a loud Brrrrp, her legs running fast in place on the hardwood floor, just like you see in cartoons. before speeding off like a locomotive herself.
She was a talkative cat to say the least, serenading us with a chorus of brrps, and meowps, trills and chirps. If ever a cat were to start speaking words, I was sure she would be the one.
During difficult times, she was my comfort, staying by my side after several surgeries, there for me to hug close like a teddy bear when my sister, father and dear friends Dee and Marshall became ill and passed away, there through all our adoption woes. For 20 years my day began with seeing her face, and making her a bowl of food. My nights ended hearing a thunk-thunk as she jumped onto the bed and curled up next to my head, purring.
The bond between us was long and strong. So much history and and so many memories of spending my days with my green-eyed, tailless tabby girl.
If you’ve never felt a deep connection with an animal, then what I’m saying might sound frivolous. But if you stop to think about it, twenty years is a long time to spend with any living being. How lucky I am she was able to be a member of my family for so many years.
Saying goodbye was heartbreaking, but I was fortunate to spend her last day—just the two of us—in the garden we both love so much. We sat together in the sunshine, and then in a light summer rain, amidst the plants and flowers, feeling the soft breeze on our faces, listening to the sounds of chickadees chirping. I will miss her sweet, gentle soul.
There cannot be love without loss, just like there cannot be happiness without sadness, or light without dark.
Magnolia: May 23, 1995-June 24, 2015
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Take the road less traveled, Beth