in loving memory of Smitty the Kitty
You all know that I often process life through writing. I am posting this excerpt from my journal for our little guy, Smitty, and the 20 years he shared with us. He grew from a strong-willed rebellious little character to a very loving snuggle bunny with a wisdom all his own. He graciously survived Mommy and Daddy’s separation (almost divorce) and their gypsy wagon era and happily settled on Wheat Street for 7 years. The longest he got to live anywhere.
Journal Entry, Friday Morning, October 24, 2008
Every morning Smitty and I sit in The Power of Meow. (Smitty’s version of Eckhart Tolle’s book, “The Power of Now.”)
This ritual started a good while back with Smitty standing at the cardboard partition between the living room and the back of the house. A partition that controls unescorted wanderings into the living room where occasional kitty dementia challenges his litter box manners … Smitty would “meeoownow” loudly, peeking over this partition his aging body does not let him jump, making his desire to be with us known – most particularly in the mornings (like now) when I am in my quiet time; reading, writing, or meditating.
These days, Smitty doesn’t meow so much. He waits patiently in his newly chosen bedroom (he stopped sleeping with us three months ago). He nestles in his cave, a safe spot in the corner of my office between a chair, a wooden filing cabinet, and the wall. He knows that I will not forget to wake him up for our meow time. (Eckhart, you would be proud. Mister Smitt is a masterful teacher.)
I pick him up and carry him to where I sit, holding him over my shoulder so he has a good view out the window. He can watch the sunrise and count cars, squirrels, or birds – or watch the kitties that come from across the street. Some mornings he is very alert and I get to feel the tiniest of purrs against my heart. (His purr-box wore out a good while ago. Ray and I figure that after 20 purr-filled, purr-fect years Smitty must be close to using up his allotment – so he rations for special moments when Mommy and Daddy are paying attention.)
Smitty encourages my practice of the meow when he is in my arms. I am absolutely in the moment with him … No daily to-dos run through my mind. No future concerns. No past regrets. Just one precious present moment … When Smitty and I are in the meow we simply are. I feel him. I feel life force between us. There is no distinction between where I stop and he begins. I feel the softness of his fur, hear his tiny contented purr, and smell his elder kitty scent. I choose these moments to be mindful with him and to be grateful for the gift of his attentiveness.
I don’t know how many more “meows” we will have. Ray and I sense he is very close to transitioning. He has stopped eating solid food and can only manage broth – as long as it is tuna, kitty food gravy or cat milk in a dropper. Probably all the wrong things … but his now is about comfort and not longevity. 20 years is going to be long enough it seems. I am working to release him to his own pacing. He is not suffering and has made it very clear he wants no vet or car trips. He wants his corner with his little bed – and his meow moments in Mommy and Daddy’s arms. I am grateful that they are not lost in a blur of front-door-rushes out into the world. I am grateful to know the absolute peace in the power of meow with our Smitty.
That journal entry was written before what was to be the last meow moment the Smit and I would share. Our longest, most peaceful session. Smitty passed on Saturday, October 25 while Ray and I were in Greenville, SC. I found this quote in A Course In Miracles (Workbook Lesson 195: Paragraphs 6-7) that brings me comfort and want to share it with you.
We thank our Father for one thing alone; that we are separate from no living thing, and therefore one with Him. And we rejoice that no exceptions ever can be made which would reduce our wholeness …We give thanks for every living thing, for otherwise we offer thanks for nothing, and we fail to recognize the gifts of God to us.
Then let our brothers lean their tired heads against our shoulders as they rest a while. We offer thanks for them. For if we can direct them to the peace that we would find, the way is opening at last to us. An ancient door is swinging free again; a long forgotten Word re-echoes in our memory, and gathers clarity as we are willing once again to hear. Walk, then, in gratitude the way of love.
Smitty, we walk in gratitude and love for what we share. Mommy and Daddy will miss you.
And Theo says thank you for letting him come live with you this last year. He also says you left a big paw print for him to fill –but he will try.