Friday, March 3, 2023

Overheard at the Counter: Saoirse's Last Day on Earth

He hadn't eaten for two weeks.

No water for over a week. They say a cat can only last for three days, but Saoirse lasted for a week.

Every few days or so, he would put his lips to the surface of the water, make some tiny noises, but no other movement.

Once, he puked green bile into the bowl.

He had wasted away to the point where he couldn't even stand up.

The bones of his spine felt like the plates of a Stegosaurus.

Every day, those last two weeks, as he wasted away, I kissed him on his head, as I had done for 18 years.  And I rubbed him under his chin, as I had done for 18 years.

I knew that this day would be his last day.   I don't know if he knew, or even really cared.

I say that because Saoirse was a special kind of cat.  Cool.  Coolest cat - ever.

He had spent 18 years, never really crying, never angry, never snapping at anybody - not other cats, not other humans.  He lived life on his own terms.  He came up to you when he wanted, he walked away from you when he wanted.  

He slept.  A lot.  

His days were spent lounging on the couch, to the chair, to the bed, to another bed, to a spot on the floor.

He always had a look like he didn't really care what happened.  That's cool, dude, I'm just here.  Go do what you gotta do.  I'm chill.  

But he always sat in my lap while we watched movies or tv shows.  At dinner time, also, he'd jump up on the table, not to eat any food, but to come over to me and put himself down in my lap.  He didn't care that I was eating.  My purpose, Saoirse seemed to say, was to be his chair.

I don't think I will ever be another cat's chair the way that I was Saoirse's chair.

We love that cat.  He was truly the best cat.   All cats are special creatures, and some are more treasured than others.  But Saoirse, he was one of those rare cats, truly in a league wholly his own.

No cat, unfortunately, will ever compare to that cat.

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