Friday, August 10, 2007

Were They Soul Mates?

Dylan and Taffy, a dog and a cat who never met each other, had such a similar last few months. They were both loved and are now gone, but Taffy’s passing today deserves a mention.

Around the same time we were getting Dylan those many years ago, Deborah’s family was choosing a cat. It was Taffy, who undoubtedly was an adorable little gray kitten. I can’t say that Taffy was the sweetest of cats, but she loved her owners and they reciprocated.

Deborah and her entire family commiserated with me when Dylan ran away this past spring and rejoiced when he was found 36 hours later. Just 10 days after the escape as I was over at Deborah’s house to play music, we were sitting out on her screened-in back porch with the door cracked to provide a breeze. A visitor came in with a small dog that apparently scared Taffy enough that she bolted through the cracked door and simply vanished without a trace. They put out flyers and searched the neighborhood. Someone described a dead cat on 14th Street that sounded like Taffy, but Deborah couldn’t bring herself to tell her daughters. Then 3 weeks later just as they were ready to give away all the cat gear, a neighbor three houses down inquired as to whether anyone was missing a cat. Taffy was returned after being given up for dead. She was emaciated but still alive and glad to be home.

Taffy has not thrived since her foray into the outside world, but recently she has looked very frail and tired. Today when I went over to their house for lunch, only the movement of her ribcage indicated that Taffy was alive. Deborah said she hadn’t eaten for 24 hours.

After lunch we played some really beautiful music, beautiful enough to have played the cat right out of this world. So just 10 days after Dylan’s death, Taffy was also gone.

There was some debate about what to do with her remains. After a family discussion, they took her small body over to the vet’s for cremation. Then they drank a toast to Taffy as they called the daughter in Portland.

When our dog Schnizzy died and my daughter was 5, she kept asking me where the dog went. Was she in a trash dumpster? Was she buried under the street? Just where was she? I never knew quite what to say, feeling as unattached to the dead body of an animal as I do to a dead human body.

Part of me hopes there is an afterlife for pets, that Dylan and now Taffy are in a better place. I hope they meet each other and can become as good friends as Deborah and I are. In any case, Dylan and Taffy will always live on in our hearts.


Blogger riseoutofme said...

On to greater and better things, I hope.

Just like us, I hope.

Nice music playing to ease my passing too, I hope.

6:11 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

What a beautiful gift to give, easing her passage from this world. I find it hard to believe that there is no next.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Music to die for - hmm... you may have just invented a new assassin's tool. I may use this in a new flash fiction.

Dylan was ready to go, that's for sure. If his "soul" resides anywhere, it's in a better place.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Rise, Kristin -- I would like nice music in my final hours.

David -- I'm so happy to be able to support your creative spirit.

Dylan and Taffy were both ready to go. We chose the route of making the decision for him. They let nature take its course.

As for the better place, since animals can't talk, we don't have any stories of near-death to convince us of an animal after-life. But my guess is if there is an after-life for humans, they have pets there too.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I like to think there is a spirit world for animals. Native culture suggests so and it makes as much sense for animals as it does for us.

5:56 PM  

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