Saturday, August 14, 2010

To My Compainion and Friend

The first time I held you, your green eyes looked up at me and you purred. I adopted you and brought you home to the dorms of my college, which was against the rules. I didn't care. I needed you and you needed me. You were three months old. Beautiful and lively and happy and charming.

You would curl up on my back or chest and purr as I slept or woke up. You would climb into mine or Alan's lap and you would butt our heads affectionately. You were the originator of the 'head bonk' that Alan and I still give to each other to this day. You stayed with us through 5 five different apartments, survived a fire, countless trips up and back to North Carolina, the bringing of a puppy to the house, the introduction and premature loss of Quanta our calico, through three sets of roommates, our engagement, our wedding, and 7 years of our lives.

You lost your leg, and held up beautifully. You gave the doctors a smile every time they saw you and any company who came and eventually got to know you loved you instantly. You were shy, kind, and the only time you ever hissed at me was when we found your tumor and I hurt you by accident.

We will miss your presence. I will miss you curled up by the computer as I work. Alan will miss you clawing your way up into his lap as he paints. We will miss your soft mewling, and the way you ran to your bowl to tell us it was half empty (a travesty, we know). We will miss walking by a particularly good spot of sunbeam and seeing you roll onto your back enjoying the warmth. We will miss you. We will miss you dearly.

But we've now lost you. You have moved on. Dr. Sauls, your vet did all she could, but nothing she, nor I, nor Alan could do would have helped you. You suffered, you couldn't breathe, and a flowering new cancer was crushing your lungs. Dr.Sauls told us. Alan made a sound of sorrow I've never heard escape his throat. Dr. Sauls cried with us and told us we've done all we can. We took you into the vet...and I knew I was not going to walk out with you. My intuition told me this...but I ignored it and believed the flimsy hope that your condition was superficial and I would have my little 'night fury' back in my arms purring as I read, or worked, or slept.

You did not come home.

In Japan, their parting phrase is Sayonara. Sayonara does not mean good-bye, it never has. What it actually means is 'see you later'. We did not say goodbye to you, because we both know you will find your way back to us. You are welcome home at any time, and we will welcome you with open and loving arms, ready to hold you and love you just as we did then, if not more.
You were sedated, and as Alan and I held you as you went to sleep, we wept and petted you and told you how much we loved you.

And the last time we held looked up at us with your bright green eyes and you purred.

Gemini Tupper - May 2004 to August 13th, 2010

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