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Location: Midwest, United States

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Place to Rest


I buried Mopsy under an old spruce tree. The depth of my grief caught me by surprise (but I’ll leave the reasons why for a later entry).

We spent our last day together sitting outside in the sunshine…a skeletal cat and a graying man, sharing a sunbeam or two. Mopsy always wanted to be outside. Although she spent her adult years as an indoor housecat (i.e., pampered prisoner), indulged and loved, the call of the wild filled her ears incessantly. To her, Nature was Heaven (as long as she could have her favorite meals and a warm bed to snuggle into as well). She became most adept at streaking through a partially open door, hell bent on burying her face in the grass, sniffing the aromatic breezes, and chasing after any moving thing. Oh, how she loved being outside on sunny days, curled against my feet, basking in sunshine and friendly zephyrs!

I had to carry her outside this last afternoon. She was too weak to struggle past the threshold and outside steps on her own. She collapsed across the cool concrete and drew comfort from that. We both knew that our life together was palpably slipping away. She struggled to reach me. I picked her up and held her in my lap. I was too grief struck to speak. She was too weak to raise her head.

A few hours later, she was gone…taking with her one of the few unsullied pieces of my heart still left.

* * *

Every home I’ve ever inhabited (that came with a plot of land, that is) has a pet (or two…or three) buried there. I’ve dug more than a few graves in my time.

This dolorous gravedigger went about his business on a hot, sunny Tuesday. It’s true you know…that phrase: “heavy heart.” My heart, so burdened with tears and grief, grew ponderous and burdensome within my chest, pressed heavily against my diaphragm, strangled each breath.

I began to dig.

I didn’t want Mopsy to have a shallow grave. No, I wanted her to have a peaceful resting place. I wanted her to rest deep within the rich earth, sheltered from the snow and rain.

I dug deeper. And deeper still.

I dearly loved all the animal souls that brightened my life. I truly did. Even so, I think I loved Mopsy the most. I know it’s not fair to compare one soul to another but, still, I can’t deny it…Mopsy’s soul was special. And so it felt natural…proper…essential…to prepare
her place of rest with the utmost care.

I always knew where I would bury her, whenever that day would come. I dug her grave beneath the canopy of the old Blue Spruce that grew majestically towards the sky. The Spruce extends her reach at least thirty feet across. Mopsy would rest beneath the protective limbs of this wise old tree, home to birds and squirrels galore, and now the sentinel and stalwart protector of the star-bright soul resting at her feet.

I dug a roomy grave about three feet deep into the thick, black soil.
I carved away the clayey dirt to form a perfect grave, straight-sided, deep and lovingly carved.

I collected fresh-cut grass clippings to line her grave. I wanted her to have a soft bed of the sweet grass she loved so much…devoured with such relish. Yes. Mopsy would sleep on the softest and sweetest of beds.

I lowered her body onto the bed, her place of rest. I gave her a blanket of grass to comfort her, then scattered a bouquet of fresh daisies over all (for you see, Mopsy had a thing for flowers).

Earth was returned to earth, and this most endearing of souls disappeared within.


* * *

As I said, Mopsy had a thing for flowers. I mean…she REALLY loved flowers.

One discovers certain verities when entwined with another soul.
It was a verity that, whenever flowers were brought into the home (a frequent practice), Mopsy HAD to thrust her face into each blossom. She would inhale deeply, probing each bloom with the tenacity of a bumblebee.

She would proceed to devour her favorite.

Another verity: Within one hour, I would hear a crash and splash. Although the details varied (toppled vase on dining room table…coffee table…end table…kitchen counter…bathroom counter…window sill...), Mopsy was always there, a mere foot or two away, calmly licking a fluffy paw. She would stop, mid-lick, to gaze into my eyes quizzically: “Did something happen? Did I miss anything?”
She personified innocence…innocence belied by a golden-yellow, pollinated muzzle. Never failed.

Mopsy really had a thing for flowers.

* * *

And to you, Dear Reader, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks.
I sought repose in silence these past two weeks, but your kind thoughts and warm support meant a great deal to me…more than
I can express.

Thank you.

* * *

11 Comments:

Blogger Cheesy said...

Very heart felt and wonderfully written my friend.

"golden-yellow, pollinated muzzle" HUGE grin..I couldn't help it....

Tue Jun 05, 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

I'm glad you're back, Jonas. I think we all knew why you needed to be away for a while.

I'm so glad you shared all those years with Mopsy and that she too, shared her years and all her nine lives, with you.

There are very special animal souls in this world that seem closer to human, than some humans. Clearly Mopsy possessed such a soul.

I shed tears as I read this. You'll always have memories of her and the love you shared went right to the end. She passed away loving you and you loving her.

Tue Jun 05, 01:11:00 AM  
Blogger Snowqueen said...

Ah, Jonas, a cyber hug for you {*} To love and be loved, and it does not need to be a human either. Grief is grief. What a beautifully poignant and moving post.

Tue Jun 05, 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Laurie Anne said...

Jonas, this was without doubt one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever read for many reasons. I've never trusted men who didn't love animals (and vice versa). Your warmth and love and kindness and respect are admirable.
You gave me a good cry and many, many things to think about. Thanks...

Tue Jun 05, 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger Twilight said...

Any further words seem superfluous after the beauty of your own, Jonas.

Thank you for allowing us to share in the emotion of them.

Comforting hugs from me, too.

Tue Jun 05, 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gillette said...

What a pretty, Holy tribute to a good friend. She, as you, were blessed.

Hugs.

Wed Jun 06, 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger soul_rebel said...

So sorry to hear about your kitty. It's amazing how much love they can share in the short time they're here.

Wed Jun 06, 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger anna said...

She was very fortunate to have you. I suspect that you were as special to Mopsy as she was to you.

Fri Jun 08, 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, Ms. Cheesy. I knew you'd understand...

Oh, wise, Fiona...you're right. Certain animal souls are simply special. I've shared my life with quite a few animal souls. All were beautiful. Some, however, were just as confused as mine. A precious few were wise and graceful. They taught me much. Mopsy was a mentor to me.

Thank you for your kind words, Your Highness. Now, go and pack!

It's no surprise this entry moved you, Laurie. Go give Tounces a magnificent head scratch and a kiss on the nose. You'll both be the better for that.

Thank you for the hugs, Ms. Twilight and Ms. Gillette! Hugs of any sort (cyber or otherwise) are always appreciated.

Reb! The prodigal returns! Thanks for dropping by with a kind word. It means a lot.

I don't mean to brag on myself, Anna, but I think you may be right.

Sat Jun 09, 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger tipota said...

ah Jonas, just ah. i dug the grave for my once-upon-a-time first real cat companion, Aurora, and planted a rose bush over her. i dug it deep and symmetrical and clean, like you. i tossed flowers in, like you. i cried for weeks, and felt the loss, after 13 years, which was shocking, barely bearable, i still cry today when i think of her and all she meant to me, even though i have come to know love and lose many more since then. she was my first girl. that summer, the pink and fragrant roses grew above her little grave, and i would cry when the scent wafted my way. i was glad i was able to spend her last year with her, having opted out of my 9-5 just in time, being able to be home with her, having serene and quality time and our last year together was blissful. and her loss, devastating. i didnt think i'd ever be able to love like that again. a year went by after she died, the silence in the house as heavy as my heart. i did not want another cat. i did not think i could bear another loss like that. and then as fate would have it, a feral mom and her 6 kittens
were found by our tenant under the porch. one look and i knew love would come back. that was my girl tindi, the year was 2002. she brought joy back, she is a miracle, she came just in time and at the right time, he taught me to carry on and that love never ends. grateful to you for sending me this post to read Jonas

Thu Mar 26, 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger tipota said...

She not he, she was most definitely a She

Thu Mar 26, 04:22:00 PM  

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