Goodbye, Summertime.

We had a lot in common, you and I.  Mom found you in a parking lot, much like she found me without a home when I was too young to take care of myself.   She took us in, and loved  us like we were her own flesh and blood.

And when you were older, and our mother was gone, you were happy to walk along this road of life with me.  You shared my food, and when I proved I was a poor hunter tried to share your kill with me.  You cheered me up when I was sad, you kept me company when I was alone, and you were always there.  You followed me from Southern California to Portland, and save for a few months when I wandered to Montana and Central Oregon, you walked with me.

And I learned much from you.  I learned that it’s ok to be a Hunter in a Farmer’s world.  I learned from you that sometimes the simple things in life.. like sitting in a warm basket by a warm fire (or at least the gas heater) has value.  You annoyed me when I was not taking care of myself. And you reminded me that there are reasons to keep fighting.  And you perpetually got in everybody’s way: even earning the names “Speed Bump” and “Roadblock” at places you stayed.

Today, you left this world to walk with Bastet.  You looked at me and I knew it was time.  You were tired, you were in pain, and it was time to go.  And it hurts to know that tomorrow, I will awake to a world without you physically by my side.  You’ve left a mark on me like few have: you weren’t a mere cat, you weren’t a mere pet, you were my familiar.

Norma took this candid photograph of us a year ago when we lived out in the middle of the Badlands.  It will always be the image of you in my mind: walking beside me and being a good friend.  Goodbye, dear one.


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