Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The Death of Our Cat
Nellie had been missing for several days, and my wife has described what that was like better than I could on her blog. Beautiful and oftentimes temperamental, Nellie was a faithful companion for almost 12 years, living with us through five moves, two dogs, two children, and another cat.
After the removal of a tumor, she spent most of her time this summer lounging around in the carport. We knew her time was limited. So when she went missing we figured she had gone off to die. We were right. The neighbors found her body by their fence. I knew retrieving her body would be bad, but after several days of decay, it was worse than anything I could have imagined.
After moving her body and digging her grave in hard ground through tough roots, sweating and fighting off mosquitoes, I couldn't help but think about the horror of death. Yes, death is a part of life. It's "natural." But only in the wake of the Fall, when the world had become subject to evil and death, could the word "natural" be used for the word "death." God does not intend the putrid horror I saw and smelled when I came across Nellie's body today. God does not intend the heartache and grief I see in my wife and children, even over a pet.
"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his servants" (Psalm 116:13 BCP).
Can the same be said of an old, beloved calico cat dying alone by a fence?