Flawed Love

Part of what has surprised me about the loss of China has been how much my sense of grieving has been shaped by feeling guilty. Of course there's the what-if's surrounding her final illness: "I waited too long to take her to the vet," "My inaction made her suffer," "I waited too long to put her to sleep," "I put her to sleep too soon" (ah, contradictory self-accusations! That right there should be a clue that what's going on has more to do with me and my internal process than anything … [Read more...]

China (1989-2010)

Loving God, our beloved pet and companion, China, is on her final journey.  We will miss China dearly because of the joy and affection she has given us. Bless China and give her peace. May your care for her never die. We think you for the gift that she has been to us. Give us hope that in your great kindness you may restore China in your heavenly kingdom, according to your wisdom, which goes beyond our human understanding. Amen. — Adapted from a prayer in Will I See My Dog in Heaven? by Jack Wi … [Read more...]

The die is cast

I have scheduled China's final visit to the vet for 5:30 PM today.Yesterday was a blessing. I had some errands to run, but when I came home China hobbled into the living room and climbed into my lap — and stayed for about 90 minutes. Mostly she slept, and purred just a little bit. I stroked her and cried and eventually just placed my hand on her back. Finally she got up and wandered off.I opened a can of gourmet beef, and she ate a little bit. Later, Fran made some salmon dip and gave C … [Read more...]

The Lion in Winter

My eldest cat, China, is well over 20 years old. She was a rescue kitty — she came to me when I managed the bookstore in Sewanee, and a fraternity boy at the college found her, a stray kitten, and took her to the local vet; the same vet who on the very next day I asked “Do you have any kittens up for adoption?” He brought China out to me, and it was love at first sight. The frat boy, who was a true animal lover, came and talked to me to make sure I would be a good “daddy” for the kitten; I must h … [Read more...]

China

Fran and I are going through various CDs in which we've archived photos taken over the last five years, and finding a few odd treasures here and there. Here's a picture of China, who is now our oldest cat — she'll turn 19 next month.Incidentally, all the bottles on top of the chest of drawers behind her are filled with water from holy wells in Ireland. … [Read more...]


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