If you dig into the archives of this blog back to December 20,2004, you will read about Jade, the one-eyed cat. This creature was dying slowly of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), but continued to be a friendly feline presence around the house. The vet told us that FIP would kill Jade quickly, but she kept on living. Jade had a special fondness for yogurt, hopping up on the kitchen counter to lick the yogurt cup after I finished my breakfast early each morning. My wonderful 13-year old daughter, Amanda, showered that cat with love and attention. I think that this helped to prolong her life.
Jade managed to sneak out of the house into the backyard a couple of weeks ago. She was happy in the yard - we let her out regularly. This time, she did not return. When cats feel death approaching, they often wander off to an isolated spot to face the reaper alone. This is what Jade did. Amanda was very upset and searched for the cat for days. We haven't found her. She is certianly dead, and I expect that her body is not going to be found. We have wild critters that wander through our leafy suburb at night, and the little cat's corpse probably ended up as a midnight snack.
Well. of course this event has been expected - FIP is always fatal - yet there remains a feeling of surprise and mystery to this ending. We won't have our anticipated cat burial in the backyard. Amanda has recovered from her grief, but we still feel unsettled.