I am constantly stunned by the generosity and kindness of people. It makes me think that perhaps I should renounce my curmudgeonly ways. In my mailbox at work today, I found a copy of a short short story by Margaret Atwood, “Our Cat Enters Heaven,” from a recent book which I can’t believe I haven’t read, The Tent. It was from a co-worker who I have never met who reads this blog, and it was absolutely perfect.

The story was so perfectly twisted that I, of course, having no self-restraint when it comes to books, had to order it used from Amazon. I recommend it solely on the basis of these three pages.

It reminded me that twice in the past two months, Mama Kitty brought a headless squirrel with her when I called her to dinner. I don’t know if it was her statement on the cuisine, but I informed her that dinner was not a potluck, and suggested that from now on she leave the squirrels in the bushes. Preferably next door.

The squirrels were nearly as big as she was. This was one reason that I wasn’t overly worried about the state of her health. She was one tough cat and was obviously functioning just fine.

Anyway, it is a little rough still. The Back Forty will not bring me much joy for a while, I suspect. It’s a shame, because this is generally where I go for comfort – pulling weeds is a meditative act for me during times of stress. Now I’m avoiding it, in part also because of the hovering NDN, with whom I do not want to discuss Mama Kitty’s absence right now.

Mealtimes and coming home from work are the worst. Miss Peanut keeps looking around for her mama, since the only times they really hung out was before mealtimes, when they rubbed foreheads and entwined tails and caught up on the street gossip. After work, Mama Kitty always met me down the street on the sidewalk and made sure that I made it home okay.

This pain will pass. I’m getting better at this grief thing, and I’m moving on, something that used to be very difficult for me. Next week I’ll get her ashes, and I have some of her fur that the vet clipped for me. She’ll join her son on the studio windowsill for now, overlooking the redbud tree where the birds like to congregate. Later I’ll decide if I will return her to the Back Forty. I feel pretty sure that I will.