Remembering Lissa

By , June 26, 2010

I warned eight years ago that a day like yesterday would come, but when it finally did, that didn’t help one bit. We regrettably laid our older cat, Lissa, in a grave in our dooryard, over which we’ll build a flower bed.

I’m a bit uncomfortable eulogizing a pet; everyone thinks their pet is special, otherwise why would we bother? Yet to those who didn’t know the pet, mourning can seem excessive. However, my blog, my rules, right? Lissa was a member of a tightly-knit family, living in a secluded area. As such, her loss is deeply felt.

Her decline came on rather suddenly, and ended after about a month. We’re not exactly sure what happened, but she was probably about 10 years old. She could have lived longer, but not necessarily.

We found her at the Juneau animal shelter while looking for a new kitten. Michelle’s and my first cat, Fred, who had joined us three years into our marriage, had died a year or two previously. Michelle and Aly had made a preliminary visit, and had seen Lissa, a beautiful, quiet, patient, older cat, and steered me toward her when I accompanied them on the next visit. The shelter has a play room where potential adopters can spend some time with a cat. When they brought Lissa into the room, I was sitting in a chair. She came right across and hopped up into my lap. It was love at first sight.

We joked that Lissa was my mother reincarnated. We couldn’t deny the similarities in physique and temperament. And, like Mom, she left us too soon.

She had been in two other homes, and had been rejected, so we’re consoling ourselves; she could have been put down at least two other times, maybe three prior to joining our family. For a domestic cat in this world, she had an excellent life. I don’t think she could have been loved any more.

Now we’re a one cat family. Spice looks for Lissa every once in a while, but, on the advice of one of our cat books, we made sure she saw Lissa’s body. In fact, she was cuddling with her when she died. We’re making sure we’re lavishing attention on her.

We’ve got work to do, and it’s time to get on with it. Our minds are stalled, but our bodies are active. Slowly, we’re moving on to other tasks.

2 Responses to “Remembering Lissa”

  1. Konnie Newell says:

    The part about your mom really hit home and I have tears in my eyes! What a beautiful cat she was and what a beautiful eulogy.

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Konnie,

    Even though I wrote this and posted it on the Internet, I hadn’t mentioned that aspect of it to Michelle. This morning she told me that she’d been thinking exactly the same thing!

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