We are ten days past our beloved G. Gordon Kitty’s release from this world. Mourning a loved one is never easy. However, we look for lessons in every circumstance; even the most intolerable. God builds us day by day. It is best to pay attention.
Gordon and his brother TR had different deaths, just as they were differing personalities. TR, the quiet, contemplative, and careful one, suffered a cardiac arrhythmia during a vet visit, during which we first learned of his heart condition. He had only a partly bad last day, a good dinner, and one last pleasure of falling asleep purring in the crook of my arm. He passed from there to a coma, from which he never recovered. TR left the world peacefully and without pain, stroked by the two people who had loved him all his life, and the brother nearby who had always been there.
Gordon had to endure only a single day of weakness, after a failed blood transfusion that shortened instead of extended what we knew already were the very last of his days. His blood count dropped to critically low levels, and we spent his last hours holding him. He died as he had lived, participating, also knowing that we loved him. He died holding onto his human mother’s hands, with mine on him, once his heart had done all that it could.
I tried to close his eyes once he had gone. We could not. Even in death, he would not have it.
TR and Gordon each had a death that suited them so well. TR, loved every day, and Gordon, the cat of action and bold adventure. One with his eyes closed, the other eyes wide open.
It is the two ways we all will live and die. It is easier for a while to live not looking at that which we do not want to see: folly, sin, and suffering. It is, however, a world of actualities, and pretending that challenges do not exist only hampers our ability to deal with them once the inevitable intrusion into our self-imposed withdrawal occurs.
Not looking keeps us psychologically comforted, but it is a protective mechanism that will not last. Not looking denies us views of the grandest acts as well: heroism, compassion, faith. We were born to look, learn, and grow.
God meant for us to see the signs that He is here with us, in every day of every life. Psalm 19 reminds us that the heavens declare the Glory of God. His every work does nothing less. We do not believe in mysteries. God meant for us to determine our need for Him in our own time, with the intellect and instinct that He instilled in us. His lessons are everywhere. They are unseen only when we fail to look.
TR and Gordon were the gray treasure the God bequeathed us to help us grow. They gave us joy, and at the end they taught the last lesson of loving, which is how to say goodbye for a time. Paul, in his first letter to Thessalonika, urged his reader not to mourn as those without hope. We do not, but are thankful instead for such friends as our first cats. They were and are fine and fancy kitties, used by their Creator to build His servants in a long work of Craftsmanship.
We can let them both go, knowing that they will rise and stretch in the window of The New House when we come, and move to the door to greet us just as they did in life.
In the meantime, we will rest with eyes closed and live with our eyes wide open.
Thank you, TR and Gordon. Your last lessons are yet more gifts that I can repay only with my heart.
Choose to Love, -DA