Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The little lost one, lost for good

I woke myself with a high-pitched miaow. It was me - as Perdita - dying.

She was very bony to the touch at the end; stroking her felt like running my hand over dislocated bones, but she still purred and looked at me with her uncertain face – unsure whether to succumb or flee. On Monday night Ma and I walked around the garden in the dark, shouting “Perdita, wuss, puss” and whistling Ma’s special cat whistle.

That evening on the phone to Jean in France Ma recalled with pride how Perdita’s pitiful miaow had answered her, as the cat limped out from behind the shed. I had run in and grabbed the tiny torch, and there she squatted, immobile. I walked through the flower-bed and picked her up – she was light as air, and she let me carry her upstairs to her bed. Perdita would never let anyone carry her – she would struggle and scratch and jump free. We brought her plate of food and water bowl up onto the bed and she ate something but mostly had a voracious thirst. She didn’t move around the bed, pawing and nesting; rather she turned gingerly on an axis and settled hunched on her paws, careful not to put pressure on her jutting, swollen paw.

It was after letting out her high-pitched miaow that she died on her bed with Ma and Charlie watching. Charlie wept, Ma told me. This morning, with spades, Ma and I tried to dig a hole, but we struck rock and Charlie was afraid the foxes would tear apart her little body.

Now Ma and Charlie have taken her to the crematorium, and in the shallow grave near her shed we will lay Perdita, “the little lost one”, in a pot.

1 comment:

Persephone said...

Oh, poor little Perdita. Poor little soul. I hope she rests in peace, with all the catnip and jingly felt mice her heart desires.

I still miss my childhood dog, Lovey. She was all goodness and cheer. A light went in our house when she died.