Friday, November 28, 2008

In memoriam

We buried a beloved friend and teacher this morning, just as the rain was starting to fall. Relatively small of stature, weighing in  at twelve or thirteen pounds, Calvin was nonetheless a big presence in our household. I often referred to him as my Zen teacher, since his example was often of that kind of single-minded attention to the present moment at which cats, and most other non-human mammals, excel. I loved watching him wash, methodically and thoroughly, never in a hurry, as if just this endeavor at just this moment (and string of moments) was the only one that mattered. Until something better caught his attention, that is. 

Calllie, as we called him, was a lover of cozy places--under the wood stove, on an open lap, and especially on the best, most comfortable chair nearest the heat. I will miss his company in my lap and even his way of stealing my  body-warmed seat that I would often have vacated for only a matter of seconds, to find it occupied on my return.

To be honest, Callie did have some annoying habits, but it's amazing how quickly those fade with a sudden loss (sadly, he was mortally injured by a car). When we buried him this morning, we remembered his ready purr; his playfulness; his leaping several feet off the ground to try to catch the leaves on low-hanging maple branches; his way of walking with us around the block, his bell jingling as he darted onto and around the stone wall near the Ferlands' house, and often racing with an impressive homeward sprint through the Cloughs' yard, across the Porters' yard, and straight to our back door. I liked to think he was an honorable descendant of the fastest big cats of the African plains.

So, with thanksgiving for a small and relatively short life, that reached farther than we ever knew (as we learn from neighbors their own enjoyment of his antics), we bid Calvin good bye. Next spring we'll plant some catmint over his burial place in the garden.


Sarah said...

As one who is learning from a zen kitty teacher (also named Calvin), I extend my condolences and hugs. My Calvin is sitting watching me type, and so he is (perhaps) sending a purr your way as well.


Sarah and Calvin

aderby said...

I've gotten behind in my blog reading, so I just learned the news about Calvin. So very sorry, it's amazing what large holes these small creatures leave behind. Love to all.

Karlotta said...

Peace. Thank you for sharing the sad news of your loss and Calvin's too. I wonder what is going on in their cat brains when we are with them. I know it is good. Their presence is a wonderful gift to our memory.