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Today I Exhume(d) My Cat #
I’m writing this before the act, hence the tense dilemma in the title.
You see, Chinobou died at a bad time. We had just put down an offer on a house, and the offer had been accepted. As such, we wanted Chinobou to be buried with us at this new house. The current property owners agreed with grace and kindness, and we buried him under a tree with flowers at his head the same day he died. Unfortunately, though, you don’t own a house until you own it, and it turned out that this particular home was atop some shoddy foundation. In short, we needed to evacuate the contract. So now our cat is buried at a random person’s house, and needs to be put in a proper place. …So, I am about to go dig up an eleven-day-old cat corpse. It’s not going to be a whole lot of fun.
To my dear boy: It has been long enough now that I don’t wake up feeling a little lost or numb. In fact, my wife mentioned yesterday how she now doesn’t recall what it was like to have you around. Of course, this is an abbreviation of the full conversation; she still very much mourns the loss of our cat, but this statement shook me. It was that feeling that I was desperately terrified of the day you died. I stayed up late, unable to think about anything except for you, knowing that I would never again remember your details and livelihood as well as I would that day. From that moment, I knew you’d slowly fade from detail in my memory. I do not want to forget you, my dear gift. I want to hear your sweet voice in my head as crisp as three weeks ago. I want to feel your purrs as you sit on my chest once more. I know that none of those things will happen again, but feeling the memories of them fade makes me feel as though I’m watching you die once more.
I love you, Chinobou. I always will. Thank you, again, for it all.
After The Act, Same Day, Late #
It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I definitely let out a startled, perhaps anguished groan when I first saw his garbage bag emerge from the dirt as I shoveled it away. I had unearthed my boy from eternity. It must have been a mix of fear, despair, relief, and apprehension all at once.
His body was stiff and cold through the thin plastic. It also was much, much heavier than I recalled him being or expected. I wonder what part of nature had caused him to take on mass since I last held him. Was it the decomposition, or perhaps, the recent rainfall?
I took Chinobou from the home-that-never-was to my in-laws back yard. Carrying him from his temporary grave to my car was a moment I’ll always remember. It was just us in the warm, sunny springtime midday. He was heavy in my arms but fully intact. There was no stench. I even risked trauma by peeking inside his bag through a hole we had poked prior to burying him initially. I saw his little paw, and nothing more. I had become fully resolved to the fact that I would never glimpse any part of that cat again. Seeing some real part of him, however morbid it may seem, rekindled raw feelings and emotions inside of me I thought to be dead with him. It was an unmistakable blessing, as the feelings touched my heart with a reassuring embrace.
Moving On #
Not really. But time marches on, and I must obey its cadence. Chinobou is not alive anymore. I will never have the privilege to laugh at his intrigue or antics again, and that’s a tragic truth. I will miss him forever, but I’ll never forget.
Tomorrow awaits, and I can hear the impatient drumbeat.