Sunday, December 03, 2006

From Now On

It's a lovely Sunday night at our house. We put up the Christmas decorations this afternoon, and Christmas music is on the box. A fire is blazing in the fireplace, and the house smells of wood smoke and the popcorn that The Mrs. just got out of the microwave. It's been so pleasant for the last couple of hours that I decided to move the laptop down from my office to the chair right next to the fire. This tableau normally includes a couple of cats--Sophie, the white and brown one, and Abby, the gray one, who loved the fireplace especially. Sophie's in her spot tonight, but Abby's not.

We put Abby to sleep on Friday, after several months of difficulties. Perhaps we could have taken more measures to prolong her life, but we finally decided that to do so would be to postpone the inevitable. And so, on Friday morning, we built a fire, and she was sleeping in front of it at noontime when our kind veterinarian came. A few minutes later, Abby's life ended in her favorite spot in the house. She had been with us just a few weeks shy of 16 years.

(I kid The Mrs. that she wasn't yet 30 when we got Abby. She retorts that I had a lot more hair back then. And I shut up.)

This particular post has nothing to do with music, although I toyed mentally Friday night with a cat-themed Top 5 list (Cat Stevens, "Honky Cat," "Nashville Cats," Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys, and the Stray Cats). However, almost every post here has had something to do with Abby and Sophie, inasmuch as one or the other of them, and often both, was usually within a few feet of me as the posts were written. They like to be wherever I am. For the last three years, I've worked at home, so I've spent more waking hours with them than I have with The Mrs.

It will be different around my house from now on. And as lovely as this night has been, it's not as complete as a night in front of the fire should be.

So that's why there have been no posts here since Thursday. And since I've got lots of actual remunerative labor in my life this coming week, there likely won't be anything new here until Tuesday at the earliest. In the interim, please read this--a commenter to an earlier post claimed to be confused about how I could legally post mp3s on this blog, so I explained the mp3 posting conventions to which this blog adheres. And then visit some of the music blogs listed in the column at the right, which adhere to the same conventions.

And if you have a cat, spend some extra time with it. Someday, you'll be glad you did.

10 Comments:

At 4:42 AM, Blogger wzjn said...

I'm sure it was a very difficult and wrenching decision for you both. I'm sorry for what you had to do, but also want to give you a kind and friendly hand on your shoulder for doing what sounded like the best thing to do.

Let's hope that his spirit helps you both to endure the holiday season.

Kevin

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger C. said...

My condolences. It's always a terrible decision to have to make--I've been through it with three dogs (one my childhood pet, another a well-loved dog who lived 15 years) and it never gets easier, only sadder.

Chris

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey,
we have 3 cats, all with different attitudes and styles. I know I will miss them when they go.

So sorry to hear the news....I wish you and the Mrs. the best in a difficult time....

Musicradio

 
At 12:31 PM, Anonymous The Mrs. said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words. The house will be different without her, but we will always have Abby in our hearts.

 
At 4:17 PM, Anonymous John Ham said...

Maybe this isn't the forum for it, but...

Longtime readers of this and your other blog know that you're a self-described "hellbound atheist puke." Yet you're putting up the yuletide decor. My own wife and I are having the perennial discussion about erecting a tree, and I wonder how you decided to indulge in the seasonal spirit.

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger jabartlett said...

Glad you asked, John.

Christmas in America, right-wing rhetoric to the contrary, is primarily a secular and cultural holiday anymore. One can celebrate it as a religious holiday, but it's by no means necessary to do so. Putting up decorations isn't a sign that I accept the religious underpinnings of Christmas as truth. The Mrs. has part of her extensive collection of nativities up, which means I'm up to my eyeballs in Jesii and wise men--but that's an artifact of the culture in which millions of us were raised, just like the Christmas tree. (Christmas music is a similar artifact, and I am big into it, so I'll be writing a lot more here as the season continues.

Fact is, Jesus and Santa have peacefully coexisted in the United States for most of 100 years, and it's only recently has anyone gotten upset enough about it to waste TV time harping on it. And as for the Christmas tree itself, trees are actually a throwback to pagan solstice festivals anyhow, so I'd go for it.

 
At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Dave P said...

I'm really sorry to hear about Abby. I've got a 16-year-old cat of my own -- and these days I make it a point to take some time every day to give her some undivided attention and affection. In light of your post, and my own thoughts about "the inevitable," I'll be sure to give her some extra attention tonight.

 
At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please accept our deepest sympathy from myself and my wife. We went through it last year when our dog reached the age of 12-- and one of our cats this past summer when he was poisoned by leaking antifreeze. (PLEASE---buy only Sierra Antifreeze---it it less toxic!) Life just isn't fair!

You did the right thing. It is up to US to take care of the animals. They bring us so much joy and comfort. They give us so much unconditional love. To see that they do not suffer is, in itself, an act of love. I just wish oour pets could live as long as we do. Our condolences to you. ----Shark and Mrs. Shark

 
At 8:48 PM, Blogger whiteray said...

The Texas Gal and I just want to say, well, that we understand your sorrow. It is hard when our furry friends leave us. May your grief be tempered by happy memories.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger homercat said...

I have been a hermit and am extremely late in letting you know that Me and the Mrs. send our thoughts your way. Having recently went through the loss of a pet, we know exactly what you're going through. Grieve well and remember all the warmth that Abby added to your home.

 

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