Tuesday, October 14, 2008

my cat dido died today; she was a loyal friend and regular customer for many years. she was called "bad kitty" for a while before the boys settled on her name "dido", which was not named for the rock star, but rather the greek goddess, the spurned one. dido was a vocal cat; she was white with gray and brown coloring; she liked to talk, and to complain, and even to play the piano, and she also liked to knock over glasses of water, sometimes right in front of you, if she wanted. she was born in west branch iowa, and lost part of an ear in a blizzard, but she survived the raccoons that ran off with most of her siblings, and actually lived a pretty good life until recently, when she got both a thyroid condition, and diabetes, and began to go downhill pretty quickly. we were busy giving her shots and taking her to the vet, and holding her a lot at the end, but there wasn't much we could do; she was small, and whatever was bugging her was big, and it overtook her.

it's a harvest moon here, and it's warm and misty-rainy, with colors changing and the days actually hot out. I was sick for a couple of days also, so all the weather changes and dido's going downhill just kind of snuck up on me, and i wasn't totally prepared. turned over into a new term also, so i wanted to get a little professional work done before i started another gruelling term. this involved picking different articles out of my e-mail and putting them where i could find them, namely in bibliographies like ones i've made for facebook, chat, and second life and esl. want to know about how these have changed esl teaching? you could find some stuff to read, maybe. but, amongst my e-mail, i have lots of stuff, stuff piling up over terms when i'm too busy literally to deal with it. i get mail from the cardinals, from the gardening people, and from just about anybody that ever accidentally got my e-mail address. one group that is always in there is the haiku people, who i actually enjoy, because you can read a haiku before you delete it, and it often brings a smile to your face, or a single image that can stick with you for a while. this is what happened today. it so happens that one of haiku's giants died today also. he was a giant both on the list and in the field in general, and anyone who knew him loved him, including me, and i hardly knew him at all. so people were writing in with their tributes, but also sending in haiku, one after another, in my inbox. one of the best ones had the harvest moon, and a boatman crossing a lake in the moonlight. another was of a bright yellow leaf, suddenly falling, yet falling gently, as leaves do.

it helped me put it in perspective, that, and a bizarre lunchtime experience with a brand-new student, just arrived in the usa, with virtually no english whatsoever, who managed to communicate nonetheless that he had lost two sons recently, somehow, perhaps something was lost in translation here, but it was a pretty powerful experience anyway, and made me feel a little sheepish feeling sorry for myself over a cat. dido nevertheless was important around our house; we'll miss her; when my 16-year old was a young boy he used to get mad at her and say, "you NOT, dido!" and this kind of stuck until i'm sure, to some degree, she thought it was her name. she was our kitty, she still is, a harvest moon boat-kitty, maybe, crossing to the other side. where, i would hope, a kitty could be held indefinitely, and the water, still in the moonlight, could be lapped up at her heart's content.


Blogger Peggy said...

For me it is unexpected how brutal the grief can be for a family pet. Sometimes they are more than "just a cat". It sounds like Dido was a real survivor with those blizzards and racoons. In the end even cats with all their nine lives are mortal.

Sorry your cat died.

You going to get another one?

1:03 AM  
Blogger J-Funk said...

That was a very sweet tribute to Dido. She will be missed! What a big personality for such a little cat. Thank you for giving her such a great life!

9:42 AM  
Anonymous bruce said...

I remember Dido from when we visited, a few years ago, and she had just returned to you and was a little overwhelmed by all the people and other critters running around.

One of our two 18-year-old cats (Nimbus) recently died; the other one (Stratus) is still happily loafing around, though he is diabetic, has kidney failure, back legs are stiff, and is apparently mostly blind and deaf. (Nothing wrong with his lungs though.)

10:46 AM  

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