One of my best friends is making his transition out of this world and into the next. This is Miles, in his prime. Miles was a wild cat for the first few years of his life. How he survived our brutal winters, all on his own is a testament to his powerful will to live and his resourcefulness. I used to see him making his way along the fence lines in the snow and wish he would come and live here where it was more comfortable. But my other cat was not having any of that. When Muffin did pass over a few years later, it took Miles only a matter of weeks to check me out and then another month or so to decide maybe he'd try out domestic life for awhile. That was almost 10 years ago. I guess he liked it here well enough.
He was always so sweet and easy going. More cats came out of the woods and soon the house had a tribe and they all adopted me as their den mother. There were squabbles of course. But because Miles was so laid-back it seemed that most of the time he was the one on the receiving end of the debates and he just let the youngsters blow off steam. He knew he was the real king of the place.
Years passed. There were adventures and near-misses and medical scares that came and went. He got very thin. But always he seemed to be smiling (though he doesn't look like it in this photo ) and happy to see me and he became absolute best buddies with all the other cats. The only one who is equally loved by all the tribe. A beautiful example of Zen-like peace and calm.
Last week things began to change. Another shift towards the inevitable. But as is often the case with elder pets, you don't quite know if this is just a new plateau of less activity, or a looming illness, or, the shuffle towards stepping out of the fur suit. We had a good week of extra brushings and extra tidbits and morsels on offer, but last night I felt his energy shift and it became clear that he is beginning his last walk out of this world. It breaks my heart to see him go. He has been utterly loving, faithful, joyous, playful and sweet in all the ways he lived his life here and he has been such a Blessing in so many ways.
I am going to take some time off to be with him till his departure, and then I'm going to need some time to recover... but I'll be back. I have some wonderful news to share but just now, I can't... my friend is leaving and I need to be with him and see him off to his next adventure. I may not be replying to my emails very much the rest of this week. I hope you will understand.