Booth, Gone to Blue

booth He showed up at the kitchen door at the house in Guerneville in 1996. He could be cantankerous and at times a bit of a bully but I remember a time, a dark time, that his crackling meow, much like the sound glass might make in cracking, kept me in the here and now instead of the hereafter. 12 years he’s been with me. I have no idea how many years he’d been with himself before that. I’ve gone through many a trial and tribulation in those years; job stress, a near fatal car crash, the loss of my job, the near loss of my house and a long trip to Albuquerque that he hated every moment of, financial disintegration, a near loss of hope and through it all he’s been there.

He grew old, cast aside his bully ways, became something of a grandpa to the three sisters, the little kittens my kitten quite accidentally had. He had a stroke several months back and I thought we’d lose him then but he fought his way back. A little jerky in his walk, his meow even hoarser than before, a bit of a space cadet at times but he learned to get around, to climb up on the bed and settle down in his favorite spot.

But age will take you down, no one gets out of here alive. And I swore I wouldn’t let him suffer.

Booth went to Blue at 4:30 today. I am thankful to Dr. Walker of Cat Clinic for her kind and gentle ways and to Scott for the ride.

Gone to Blue. There is no more pain. No chance of suffering. He’s gone to be with Asher who he never knew, with Mooch and Feral who he tangled with from time to time, the Doubtful Guest and Smokey and Dinger who were all a little on the weird side and scared him a bit, with Puss and Pug, the Albuquerque cats who he never got along with well but respected their territorial rights, all cats who have crossed his and my path these last 12 years and Gone to Blue themselves. And I know Neb and Pink and Treacle will be there as well, though he may not find the company of dogs as enjoyable as those of the cats.

When it’s time for me to go, I want to go where they’ve gone.

To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
In Blackwater Woods, Mary Oliver


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