Friday, April 20, 2012
Grief for Animals: Charles Dickens on Grip; D.E.M. on Busker
Charles Dickens wrote some wonderful letters when his pet raven, Grip, died. Dickens said that to mourn Grip, he tied black bows on the stable handles. A very Victorian ritual. Grip was 39 years old, I think.
I am not sure what to write about Busker that won't sound like cliche or like an echo chamber of everyone's words on their dearly beloved kitty's passing.
I was wrong: Busker didn't have a bad cold.
He still purred; he hung out. But he had trouble eating and didn't want to go outside. So, I took him to the animal hospital to see if he could get antibiotics or a tooth pulled or something.... and on the way there, driving in the car, Busker purring in the passenger seat, my stomach literally clenched. The body realizes what the mind doesn't sometimes. I realized I would be returning home without him.
Oh, he looked so tired on the metal examining table. So tired. The vet said there was no hope and to say goodbye.
My guilt is this: I didn't hold him for the procedure. I couldn't do it. I couldn't stop crying. I just wanted to say goodbye to him while he was alive, except I could hear him meowing as I left him in the other room.
That's what I'm left with, for now.
Oh, and the photos and memories of him. Did he ever love my kid when I brought her home from the hospital after her birth. Look at him up there. He thought she was the greatest thing ever.
My other cat, the one who preferred men to women, wasn't all that impressed :)
They're all such individuals. This is what horrifies me about factory farms and slaughter and everything: each one of those animals has a distinct personality and sound of voice and preference in the world.
Ah well. No time for that now.