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Yeah, okay. So I don't know where to begin this thing, so I'm just going to start, and see where it goes, and get it over with. Early on Thursday morning, sometime between 1:30 and 2 ayem, Spooky found Sméagol on the floor in the front parlor. Only a few moments before, I'd seen him trotting about the kitchen, his usual peculiarly aloof and urgent self. She called to me (I was in the bedroom), obviously very worried. She said, "I think there's something wrong with Sméagol. I mean really wrong." I was undressing for bed, and, honestly, I thought she was overreacting. I've seen her get freaked out when Hubero barfs up a hairball.

But...two or three seconds later I was with her, and Sméagol was lying on his left side. He was perfectly still. I knelt and checked his pupils which were glassy and fixed. He gasped violently for breath a few times. I checked his mouth to see if there was any obstruction. Then he shuddered and was gone. And...wow...I just fucked that up and back again. I get all clinical and shit, distancing myself from my emotions (psychobabble, psychobabble, psychobabble). Spooky sat a foot or so away, while I held him. I've rarely felt anything go so limp in my arms. It was a spectacularly sudden (and I hope painless) death. It appears to have been cardiac arrest.

Yesterday, we drove down to Spooky's parents' farm in South County and buried him near a patch of daffodils. We built a cairn atop the grave. In the autumn, we'll plant bulbs around it, maybe irises. It was very cold and cloudy, and by the time we were finished, we were dirty and sweaty and exhausted and sore, as one ought be when laying a loved one to rest in the earth. Jada, my oldest friend (thirty-five years), had sent me words I read over the grave. It was very hard to speak, much less read, and Spooky told me I didn't have to do it. But I did have to do it, and I managed. It's an excerpt adapted from "The Dominion of Dreams: Under a Dark Star" by Fiona MacLeod (id est, William Sharp; here translated from the Scots Gælic):

Deep peace to you.
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.


He had a good life, for one who endured such difficulties as a kitten. He was found by his previous owner living wild in Smithfield, RI. He never lost all that feral nature.

So, we'll cope with this latest cat-shaped hole in our hearts. We love the memory of you, and wish that the utter peace of oblivion be unto you, Sméagol. In the many incarnations and configurations that the atoms that were so briefly you will take from now until the end of all things, may there always be glory. Rest in peace, Sméagol (Linus) Bean Thumbknuckle.

There are photos behind the cut, because...





Via Tolkien, Peter Jackson, and Andy Serkiss, how the little dude got his name.



On the bed with me, the night of the day he came to live with us (7 December 2008)



The infamous polydactyly of Sméagol.



For whatever reason, he spent a lot of time in the tub (when he wasn't in the wardrobe drawer where he mostly lived).



Tell me this cat wasn't a collaborative effort on the part of Brian Froud and Jim Henson.



Kaiju Cat Battle!



Sméagol and the Meatloaf square off.



Sméagol and Hubero watching birds (or whatever; they never told us).



Later, dude.

All photographs Copyright © 2008-2012 by Kathryn A. Pollnac (Photographe des chats dans la Maison de la bête)



If I owe you this that or the other, you'll just have to be patient. I can't apologize. I won't.

"I Miss You Terribly Already,"
Aunt Beast

Comments

( 79 comments — Have your say! )
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nihilistic_kid
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:25 pm (UTC)
Condolences.
grinkat
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
I am so, so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you both, and wishing Smeagol peace.
sovay
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
His memory for a blessing.
papersteven
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with both you and Spooky.
puppetmaker40
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
I am sorry for your loss. Cats tend to pick us rather than the other way 'round.

I will be thinking of all of you today.
kurtmulgrew
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
So sorry for your loss
stillsostrange
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
My condolences.
kousmichoff
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to know that he lived, and had a name, and was loved.

Thank you for sharing the words you had for him.

corucia
Mar. 30th, 2012 05:55 pm (UTC)

The words don't really help, but... my condolences on your loss.

Thanks also for posting the pictures - those are nice ones with which to keep him in mind.
jenjen4280
Mar. 30th, 2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
Sorry for your loss. Sounds wholly inadequate to say, but nonetheless...I am. It's hard to lose them. They're with us for too short a time.
martianmooncrab
Mar. 30th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
You were home when it happened, and there for him. He had the best home ever with you and Spooky.

Sorry for your loss.
humglum
Mar. 30th, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)

Perhaps the only thing I am glad of is that we were home when it happened and did not have to wonder.
(no subject) - martianmooncrab - Mar. 30th, 2012 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladyblue56 - Mar. 30th, 2012 07:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tziedel - Mar. 31st, 2012 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand
michellefeltham
Mar. 30th, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
My condolences.
andrian6
Mar. 30th, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope he rests well.
terriblyvexd
Mar. 30th, 2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
What a striking cat! Very much looks like a Jim Henson creature. Thank you for sharing those words you read, they were really peaceful and simple. Loved them.
thimbleofrain
Mar. 30th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for both of you.
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( 79 comments — Have your say! )