Since I returned home there has been no sign of our Old Man Cat, Nicky. If you’re a praying sort, would you say one for him? (And for me?) Nicky is 15, a noble grey fellow beginning to develop some arthritic stiffness. At his last check-up he got a clean bill of health, other than the need for a teeth cleaning. Despite that, I have had a sense that he is diminishing.
One of the hard things about cats is their private nature. Can you imagine how we would feel if one of the people in our lives decided to creep off to a quiet, wooded area, lie down and simply not get back up again? This happened with a sickly cat we took in for one of our young babysitters. I had a clear sense that we would not see her again, a little brown tiger female whose wheezing may have been the result of a strangulation attempt in her very young kittenhood. No medication improved it. One day she went out and did not come home. I had a dream about her two nights later, and it seemed to be saying although she was gone, she was fine.
This is what we believe about our people when they die, isn’t it? But we like to know the whys and the wherefores. Somehow knowing when and where helps us, gives us a sense of completion and closure.
I suppose it’s possible that even an Old Man Cat may have chosen to go on a ramble, but I fear it’s unlikely that the ramble is around the physical neighborhood.