We’ve lost several of our beloved animals these last few months.
Sphinx, our leopard gecko, age 14. Dino, our iguana, age 13 and now Missy aka Mistress Mischief , our oldest cat, died unexpectedly early Saturday morning, 6/19/10, at age 14. They were all beloved members of our family and are very much missed.
I knew this time was coming. We had a lot of old animals but damn it’s so hard. My mother reminds me they lived a long life. I know this. I just miss them. All of them. I’ve never thought of my animal family as burdens but as friends and companions and when they go it’s always too soon.
Sphinx was such a sweetie. I’ve never seen a lizard as calm as she. You could hold her in your hand or let her ride your shoulder, it didn’t matter, she just flicked her tongue and hung on.
Dino’s home was actually a super mansion cage meant for ferrets. I couldn’t find anything built specifically for iguanas so when I saw it I thought if it could handle active/energetic ferrets it could handle one iguana and it did. He had a ledge to bask on and a piece of driftwood to climb up and down on. He liked to use the bars on his cage to hang off of. The cats, especially when they were kittens, liked to watch him and every now and then bat at his very long tail. Every now and then he let loose with a bowel movement that would hit the floor and anything sitting outside of his cage. I called it Dino’s revenge. On one memorable occasion he covered Witchipoo from nose to tail in goo. (That is not how she got her name, btw. Although I think I cursed her when I named her after the HR Puff N Stuff character).
He was the calm in the storm and kept me company on many a long night. I kept looking over where his cage was expecting to see him for weeks after his death. Tracey dismantled his cage and donated a lot of his things to the Natural Science Center. They seemed to be amazed he lived for so long but for us it was too short.
Missy was the hardest and I was there with her at the end. The other cats and dogs all sat in vigil around her. If she hadn’t been dying and me sobbing, telling her I was sorry and loved her it would have almost been spiritual. It was a little eerie how the cats gathered in a circle around us with the dogs looking on from the outside. Almost like they were there to guide her on her way.
When it was over I wrapped her in a flowered bedsheet and Paul buried her that morning when he got home from work.
Missy was the cat who climbed in my lap when I was upset and comforted me the only way she knew how by purring her head off. My lap was never so empty as it was on Saturday and the sound of silence never so loud.
Paul helped me to pick this video. It isn’t Enya singing but I thought it a lovely version along with the beautiful photos.