About twenty years ago, I was part of CATSS (Community Action To Save Strays), a local catch-neuter-release program in the small town I was living in. CATSS would sometimes get called when a box of kittens was dumped in someone’s driveway. We would take in the newborn kittens, bottle feed them, and try to find them homes when they were old enough. At one time my partner and I had more than a dozen cats and kittens in our home…which wasn’t sustainable. And with two small children in the house and two cat-loving adults, we sometimes fell in love with the kittens and kept them…which wasn’t sustainable either. This is how I got Ruby and Alice.
When I divorced from my partner and moved out, we divided the furniture—and the cats. Ruby and Alice came with me to my new home. They moved with me three years later when I moved in with my new partner Mary…then they moved again a year after that, when Mary and I came to Michigan.
Alice disappeared a few months ago and never came back. Sometimes that’s how our relationship with a cat ends. They disappear.
Ruby died this week, and her end was more definite. After she didn’t show up for two meals in a row, I searched the house and finally found her under the couch. This was one of her secret sleeping places, except this time she never woke up. Sometimes that’s how our relationship with a cat ends. The cat’s time comes, the cat goes and lies down to die.
Ruby was a good cat and a loving companion to me for 19 years. Her death is a reminder that grief is the price we pay for love.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
Rev. Andrew Frantz
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