Rupert the Wanderer Goes Home to Bast

Friday, January 25, 2019

A week ago, on Friday, January 18, I took Rupert to the Cat and Dog Hospital on Redondo Avenue in Long Beach. He had stopped eating, and was losing weight much more rapidly than one might expect if it were only kidney disease. Dr. Michelle Smith, who in the past so enjoyed Rupert’s presence that she would sit in the examination room and simply watch him move around the space, acknowledged that it was probably time for us to help Rupert escape the bondage of useless suffering. He was not yet near the border of incapacitating pain, but there was nothing to be gained from a brief recovery, except of course the pleasure of his company, which would have been my selfishness.

It is with tears still in my eyes as I write these words that I acknowledge his passing to those who read my blog. I announced it on another form of social media, and received many notes from friends and acquaintances, which I do appreciate, but somehow felt it much harder to share with those who know me only through this blog. For a stray cat who was brought to our door two years ago by a neighbor who spotted him lost and hungry on our street corner, he grew into a companion who kept us entwined in his peculiar preferences. In his final months, he would sometimes stretch out on my chest as I slouched in a chair, and put his forehead to my forehead. Farewell, noble one. How you survived all those years before you found our porch is a tribute to your unflinching constancy as a cat. You trusted your unflinching instincts until they ripened into a somber affirmation: the joy that is yet to be is something that can only partially be shared. I await your future, subtle guidance.

Rupert in Garden November, 2018

Rupert at Kyeboard One