The Passing

It would be nice to *say* goodbye, but given the opportunity, how would one say 'goodbye' to a furry companion who has shared her whole life with you? This was something I wrote a year after my cat died. Talking helps, but I had to put it in words too.



???
*Yes?*
Are you...?
*I think so. Yes. I think I am. And you are...?*
Yes. I am.

*So, what's happening? Why are we here?*
I am not sure.
*Where is 'here'?*
I don't know.
*Maybe, I think we are here to say 'goodbye'.*
Yes. Perhaps that's why we're here.
*And you decided it was time to say 'goodbye'.*
Yes... Was I wrong to do so?
*I don't know. How does one decide such things?*
It...it just seemed like it was time. You were very weak and in pain.
*I don't seem to remember that now.*
That's good. I didn't like seeing you that way.

*You seem sad.*
Yes. You are going away and I'll never see you again.
*I know little of these matters, but maybe we will meet again.*
Perhaps. Still, it will be a duller place for those of us who must stay behind.
*Maybe 'dull' isn't so bad?*
Hmmm. Maybe. There were times when you could be quite annoying.
*Such as the times I would not use the box?*
Yes. Why didn't you use the box?
*The rug seemed a better place at the time.*
I got very angry with that, but I didn't know how to tell you. You seemed not to understand.
*I could sense you were angry, but you don't explain yourself very well.*
I know.

*Is there something else?*
Well, yes. But it all seems so trivial now.
*What is it.*
No. It's not important.
*Please speak it.*
Um. Very well. You didn't treat my furniture nicely.
*It wasn't good furniture.*
Well... yes. That's true.
*However, it was good for scratching. Is that why you bought it?*
No. I wasn't wealthy. That was all I could afford.
*But it was enough. It was good for scratching.*
Yes. But... I was still angry.
*I know.*
I am sorry for being angry.
*Don't be. No creature is perfect.*
I certainly wasn't.

*Um. About that. One thing puzzles me.*
Yes?
*Why did you rarely call me by my name? Doesn't your kind use names for everything?*
Did I need to call you by your name all the time?
*I suppose not. I always knew who I was. So did you.*
I'm not very good with names.
*But you are good at keeping your promises.*
Am I? Yes. Perhaps, I am. This time.
*This time?*
I made a promise once, long ago, and I didn't keep it. I knew if I ever made that promise again, I would never break it, no matter what the circumstances. I hope you don't think I'm breaking it now.
*No. You promised to care for me, and you have.*
But I could have done more.
*Perhaps. Still, you must remember that but for you, I would have been gone a long time ago. And there are others who need you now.*
But it will not be the same.
*No. It never is.*

I'm sorry I was ever angry with you.
*Don't be. Yes. I sensed anger and irritation from you, but there were many more times when I sensed great affection.*
Yes. You made me happy. You... you were the best cuddler I have ever known.
*You liked that?*
Yes.
*I did, too.*

You were always a great one for purring, too. Even at the last when you were in pain.
*It was the only way I could say 'I love you'.*
You... loved me?
*Yes. All of my life.*
I loved you, too.


*It's getting late.*
I would see you stay longer, but...
*Seventeen years is a long time. Now it is time for me to go.*
Yes. I know. You must go.
*Yes.*

Goodbye.
*Goodbye, dear friend.*

Until we meet again.