We opened the sympathy card Ellen had dropped off for us… and I thought I would share her comments with you (we’re all family here, right? trust me, we are):
When you first moved here, you spoke of taking Pan out at nite so she could memorize the stars &always find her way home. Now she can be a star & always find her way home to your hearts and to your memories.
Thanks for remembering, Ellen.
Yep, that’s what I did each morning when I went outside to pick up the papers @ zero-dark-thirty and Pan wanted to join me: I would cradle her in my arms with her front paws hanging over my right arm, rear legs and feet tucked in to my left hand, down by my left rib cage, and when we passed the tree and could see the stars, I would say, “Remember, this is where you live. If you ever get lost, you can find your way home by looking up to the stars.” In fact, that’s what I did every morning after Dr. Ueno diagnosed her situation. We both enjoyed the quiet time together, smelling the fresh blossoms on the trees and shrubs and watching the moon and stars together… cheek-to-jowl. Just us TwoBigCats in the pre-dawn morning… one of us saying goodbye, the other making sure she had her bearings fixed in her mind.
And here’s how I wrote about it almost 8 years ago when I began The Legend of the Two Big Cats:
“As you may know, all cats have nine lives. Pan is in her 7th and in reaching this point in life, she’s learned to pretty quickly tell the good from bad and the wise from the foolish. In the process, Pan has become very wise & patient creature, able to deal with many different and difficult situations. Given her late stage life, Pandora has developed the unique ability to communicate some of her knowledge to most animals and, from time to time, even humans and, in doing so, has become a good mentor to many creatures. At this point in her life, Pan is a master of purr-trances and uses them at will so that she can go on “cat missions”. (Pandora will eventually acquire the ability to morph from cat to human at various times… when this ability first manifests itself, she’s never quite sure why or how it happens, but eventually learns to control it to begin using it to accomplish her (and others) benevolent goals.) Pan’s favorite toy is “Maroon Mouse” and she often brings it to GrandpaCat to share with him and to entice him to play with her.
Although Pandora was originally Scott’s cat, because GrandpaCat was always an early morning person, she would get up with him in the pre-dawn hours to enjoy a few moments of quiet. It was during this time that Pan and GrandpaCat began “bonding” by GrandpaCat carrying Pan outdoors in his arms each morning to get the morning papers off the driveway. Each day at precisely 5:30AM, GrandpaCat would carry Pan in his arms out the door and, cradling Pan in his arms, he’d point to the star-filled sky and say to her “if you ever get lost, this is where you live”. GPC would do this throughout the year to make sure Pan was able to see how the sky would change based on the time of year and seasons. When they moved to the House on Walnut, GrandpaCat repeated this training so that, should Pan ever be outside and feel lost, at night she could look up and know where home was.”
And for any / all who stop by to read how we’re doing (especially me since I’m the one that does the writing :), we’re doing alright. For all the reasons I’ve mentioned before, we’re handling Pan’s passing as we have all of our others through the years (save Dee’s, which was very traumatic for us both) – we’re adjusting and we miss the warmth of her being. If / when you stop by the house, you’ll notice many of the cat-centric things have been removed… we **really did** do many things around the house for the comfort of the cats… it was a labor of love, but they’re no longer needed. sigh.
Thanks again for the kind words, Ellen… they are much appreciated.