Last week our beloved kitty Raven passed away. We had no warning really. When Mr. Furnace rescued him a year and a half ago, Raven looked like a black personal watermelon (I won’t go into my thoughts on “personal watermelon” terminology in this post) with legs. Seriously. Raven had lived with a companion who was wheelchair bound Raven’s entire life. The poor guy never held Raven, never even named him. But he fed him, boy did he feed him. When he died Raven came to live with Mr. F., who, it turns out, is a most excellent kitty daddy.
Raven loved his new home. He discovered love, his name, his favorite wall where he would flop with his legs straight up against the wall. He loved going on walkabout with Mr. F. He lost a lot of weight. And then suddenly he lost too much. Like overnight.
We have stories of Raven. The best is the time they fumigated Mr. F’s entire building and we brought R to my place for the day. He pooped all over Mr. F. Twice. On the way there and on the way back. We just love that story. Poor guy had been housebound his whole life and he just wasn’t ready for the big wide world. But man, trying to keep the poop from rolling around and getting squished and pulling the car over and realizing that no matter how many napkins were saved in the glove box, there simply weren’t enough… We all survived and we laugh now. The other stories aren’t nearly so adventurous but there is much love and humor in them.
We were going to take him to the vet next weekend for a full checkup but Mr. F. discovered a lump under Raven’s armpit and two days later his weight fell off by half. Swear to god half. There is something so uncanny about cats. They are so able to hide their illnesses but once they are found out, suddenly they are enormously ill. In my experience terminally ill. This is how my Spike and Bubba left this world and it was the same for Raven.
I happened to be working on this new box the night that I called Mr. F. and he told me that Raven needed to go to emergency NOW. I rushed over in the car to get them and could not believe my eyes. Raven was much changed. In a matter of days he went from an active cat to a clearly dying cat. I said Hi to Raven and he lifted his head and chirped and then flopped back down, eyes closed. That was really his last intentional act.
The vets agreed with us and with reverence and love we escorted our little guy on to his next adventure.We blessed him. We said our stories. We miss him very much and soldier on as Raven always did but there are moments that are very emotionally intense.
I came home from the vet and immediately added Raven into the landscape of my newest project. This box is special. It is lovely. It has a way to go because I keep adding things. Like birds and hearts. There is a lot of love in this box, my small tribute to a little fella with a big heart who was here for the exact amount of time he was supposed to be, making us happy and loving us right back.