catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 6, Num 18 :: 2007.10.05 — 2007.10.19




My cat died today. She died alone in the garage. I saw her before I left, looking through the dull plastic one-way cat door, crying to me. She had food and she had water, and it wasn’t stifling hot in there, so when she cried out I did not go to her. I did not go because I was late and I needed to go here and stop there and get to class, and get to work after that. I did not go to her because she did not want food and she did not want water, and I did not know what she wanted. I did not know what to do for her.

I thought there would be more time. Not a lot more. She is, was, nearly nineteen, an extremely advanced age for a cat. I knew at the beginning of the year she would not see another. And given how she was declining I knew it would be this month if not this week. But I took for granted that it would not be this day. I knew it was time. Her time. Time to bundle her up and make her feel safe and go for that last car ride to the vet, but today there was no time. So in my head I penciled it in; Wednesday between morning and afternoon classes—put cat to sleep.

But today was her day. And so her last memory of me will be the distant boy-who’s-grown-into-a-man who doesn’t answer; who gives food and gives water, but does not give himself. And now I weep. And I bawl and I cry not because you’re gone—death comes for us all—but because I did not give the simplest thing I have to give. So I say, thank you, little orange cat, for being there to keep me warm at night; for being my companion and my model; for your curiosity and fearlessness, for hanging in there through move after move after move, for keeping me humble and grounded, and for letting me know that all other laps were mere fill-ins for mine. For all this and the things I cannot think to write, again I say thank you. And finally I ask, Ferrari, please forgive me. You deserved better.

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