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Elegy

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Sesame (2000-2012)



Dear Sesame,

Dearest cat. Dearest kitty cat. Oh my little pitty mitty witty cat. I love you.

I miss rubbing my face and chin in your fur. I miss that little grunt you made when startled, or before making a jump. I miss gazing into your green eyes. Sometimes they were round, by turns guileless or all-knowing. Sometimes they were half-closed, with pleasure or suspicion or sleepiness. They were almost always on me. You were almost always looking at me.

You came when I called. I always marveled at that. I didn’t generally have anything to offer you except for a minute’s attention and my company. But you came as though you trusted that I had a good reason for calling. My reason was just that I wanted to be near you and was too lazy to get up. You indulged me.

Remember the first night you spent with me, as my cat? It was late January or early February in Arizona, three and a half years ago. You wandered my new apartment, checking, checking, from the front to the back, from the back to the front, visibly anxious and wary. You spoke incessantly in your strange, hoarse, strident voice – I had yet to learn your tones. I wondered whether I had made the right choices – in my cat, my apartment, my city, my job, my career. That night you came to me and kneaded me for what felt like hours. The quarter-hour you dug your little claws into my left armpit was torturous, but so deeply endearing; I learned what it felt like to enjoy being tickled by needles. I resolved to keep you for a month, to see how things would go.

We got used to each other, didn’t we? I didn’t find you pretty for a long time, possibly nearly a year, but by our last year I thought you were as beautiful as any cat there is, more beautiful than most. You fought the first times I put on your nail caps and gave you baths, but by the end of the first summer, you had basically acquiesced – I could feel the token nature of your protests in your squirmy little body. You yielded to me. I loved you for it.

I always wondered a little whether you entirely liked the way I treated you, scooping you up willy nilly, cuddling you a minute longer than you wanted at times, teaching you to perform tricks for treats. I called you the most tolerant kitty, and so you were. I joked that you suffered from Stockholm Syndrome, and I did worry, sort of. But then I think of your gaze – almost always on me, within a split second of noticing me, steadily and openly, as though I were the most important thing to look at in the world. And I think of the way you met me at doors, and the way you curled against me to sleep, and how you greeted me in the mornings, quivering with excitement, and I think, does it matter? There was no subtext with you, neither past nor future tense, just moments of present need or contentment. And I knew you were generally content with me, and always came to me first when you had needs.

I needed you, too, and loved it. I will forever be grateful that I never took you for granted. Everyday I had you, every time I thought of you, I rejoiced and felt blessed because of you. Even now, I cannot think of you and not smile.

You have left me many things: your collar, your fur, seven whiskers, hundreds of photographs, videos (but not as many as I’d like), a few recordings of your distinctive meows, a picture book of your story, memories. Against my intentions, it is likely that I will lose some of them as the decades pass. While I have them now, I finger them frequently and fondly. You also left me with many cat supplies – a sturdy litter box, with a 25-lb bag of unopened litter. A soft carrier. Food – dry and wet. Catnip. A small collection of toys – you never showed them much interest, except for a succession of wands. The cat cave that you had not yet deigned to make your own. There is a whole cabinet, in the most convenient place in the kitchen, devoted to your things.

Someday I will have other cats who will use some of those things. Actually I want that day to come as soon as possible, as soon as it would be responsible. I think that might mean late December. I always knew that I would outlive you, and that there is an unending supply of lovable cats in the world. It does not make me miss you less. I still wish we had had more years, many more years. I meant for you to meet the husband and children I have yet to meet and make. You were singular.

I love you. I miss you, my little pitty pat. Sleep well.

Yours,
Er-weow (for that is what you called me)

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Comments

( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
enigmaticblues
Oct. 23rd, 2012 02:46 am (UTC)
Oh, honey. *big, squishy hugs*

(But it's good to hear from you. I missed you!)
framefolly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:38 am (UTC)
*tight hug back*

(I've missed you, too!)
mustangsally78
Oct. 23rd, 2012 02:55 am (UTC)
I am so sorry.

You loved and you were loved and that is the most important thing.

framefolly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:39 am (UTC)
Thank you.

I loved and was loved, indeed.
xphilehb
Oct. 23rd, 2012 03:43 am (UTC)
*waves hi*

Glad to see you, but so sorry to hear of Sesame's passing. *hugs*
framefolly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:41 am (UTC)
Hello!

I wish I have felt able to return to LJ -- I've missed my friends here so much! When Sesame died, I guess I just felt like it was an opportunity for me to try to resume my LJ because so many of my friends here "knew" her. I hope that I will be able to read and post more frequently...
zandperl
Oct. 23rd, 2012 05:24 am (UTC)
*Hugs* I'm so sorry to hear! Was it unexpected? She was such a beautiful little sweetheart, and I am privileged to have gotten the chance to meet her.

If anyone in your life is stupid enough to say "what's the big deal, it was only a cat", write that person out of your life immediately and irrevocably. It's horrible when someone says something like that, and sadly it does happen, but it's good to know that person's true colors and be able to get rid of that person. It's happened to me. The asshole tried to friend me on Facebook this year!
framefolly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:45 am (UTC)
I had a little time to prepare -- she started acting ill, I took her to the first available vet appointment, the blood tests came back terrible, and we realized that she probably had late stage cancer. For the next week she declined rapidly by the day. She was rarely in pain, but just grew weaker and weaker, and I had the vets come for a home visit to euthanize her six days after the previous appointment.

Actually, everyone in my life has been extremely understanding and supportive, for which I'm very grateful.
(no subject) - zandperl - Oct. 23rd, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
rosefox
Oct. 23rd, 2012 05:44 am (UTC)
Aw, kitten. I'm so glad you had so many good years together.
framefolly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:45 am (UTC)
So many, and yet not enough...

They work their way into our hearts, don't they?
(no subject) - zandperl - Oct. 23rd, 2012 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
curiouswombat
Oct. 23rd, 2012 07:44 am (UTC)
I am sorry that Sesame is gone - what a lovely letter to her I really do understand how you feel.
framefolly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:47 am (UTC)
Thank you. I hope that you and yours are well -- I'm sorry for having dropped out of LJ. It feels so difficult to "catch up" to my friends page -- I feel overwhelmed, as though I'm trying to hop onto a moving train. But I miss being here, and hope I can return.
petzipellepingo
Oct. 23rd, 2012 08:11 am (UTC)
Such sad news, they just aren't with us that long are they.
framefolly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:48 am (UTC)
Thank you so much.
(Deleted comment)
framefolly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:48 am (UTC)
Thank you, Maia.

*Hugs back*

She was a darling.
speakr2customrs
Oct. 23rd, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
Deepest sympathy. Your letter is lovely.
framefolly
Oct. 24th, 2012 03:15 am (UTC)
Thank you. I had emailed some people to let them know what was happening to Sesame, and I had spoken to Sesame before her death, but I realized that I had no record in writing of the things I told and wanted to tell her. It felt good to write it.
slaymesoftly
Oct. 23rd, 2012 12:55 pm (UTC)
This made me tear up. A lovely tribute to your lost pet. My sympathy and best wishes for a short period of grieving. *hugs*
framefolly
Oct. 24th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
Thank you.

A handsome picture of Spike -- with jack-o-lantern, no less -- definitely helps!
shipperx
Oct. 23rd, 2012 03:07 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so painful to lose them. {{hug}}
framefolly
Oct. 24th, 2012 03:16 am (UTC)
Thank you.

{{hugs back}}
wildrider
Oct. 24th, 2012 12:11 am (UTC)
They leave such holes in your heart, but I could never be without at least one.

I'm sure Sesame will be guiding you when it comes time to find a new friend -- I always feel like they're all still here, all the ones who came before, along with the ones here now.

*love you!!!*
framefolly
Oct. 24th, 2012 03:17 am (UTC)
Being able to talk with you and the gang made this difficult time a lot less difficult. I felt fully understood and supported -- I felt like you said things I didn't even know I needed/wanted to hear. I didn't feel alone.

Love you back!
sillymagpie
Oct. 25th, 2012 02:38 am (UTC)
She was a sweet little baby. I loved her voice and the way she would "kiss" for a treat. I'm sure she was a blues singer in another life.
framefolly
Oct. 28th, 2012 12:59 am (UTC)
What a lovely thought! I can see her as a blues singer.
(no subject) - sillymagpie - Oct. 28th, 2012 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
thisficklemob
Nov. 4th, 2012 01:42 am (UTC)
I'm sorry I missed this when you posted it -- I am only intermittently online these days. (I moved out on my own.) It was beautifully written, a tribute to a wonderful companion.

I know what you mean about not finding a pet beautiful at first -- somehow, we always adopt the "funny looking" dogs, and end up with beautiful ones.

{{{{{HUG}}}}
framefolly
Nov. 5th, 2012 02:00 am (UTC)
How do you feel about living on your own? I am glad for you, because I like the sense of freedom and ownership that comes with having a space all to myself, but I also remember that it was easier to feel isolated when I lived by myself.

> I know what you mean about not finding a pet beautiful at first -- somehow, we always adopt the "funny looking" dogs, and end up with beautiful ones.

This. You said it, just so.

Thank you. I keep the wooden spoon in my bedside table drawer.
(no subject) - thisficklemob - Nov. 6th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC) - Expand
wondrous2
May. 25th, 2013 11:37 pm (UTC)
So sorry to read about Miss Sesame. I remember when you wrote about the time she ran away for a while. You were so happy to have finally found her nearby from your window. :-) I know you love her and she loves you too. *huggles*
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )