Sunday, September 23, 2018
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A painful wakeup call

Another funeral.

Between two backyard pine trees. Insects, spared by the hard freeze we’ve not yet had, hummed in the twilight.

As we stood silent at the edge of the dark hole, I remembered other beloved animals we had buried which hurt even more. Each one special and heart wrenching to lose.

Enyo was a naughty cat that lacked stereotypical cat qualities and we loved her unconditionally.

Named after one of the three grey-haired hags in “The Adventures of Perseus,” Enyo means “horror” in Greek.

Her name fit her personality well.

Burying our faces in her rabbit-soft grey fur, we’d often get a hard bite on the nose.

Instead of soft feet that pitter pattered, hers stomped.

Every evening, she had a way of catapulting herself onto the top of a rocking chair, slamming it against a bedroom wall.

With a Cheshire grin, she then would begin to clean herself.

Enyo was an orphan and a sweet sixteen birthday present to Betsy who, for many months, had begged her mother for a kitten before she graduated from high school.

We didn’t know Enyo’s days were numbered and that, on a gorgeous November afternoon, she was destined to leave us when a black pickup kept driving even after the thud.

Betsy’s scream was blood curdling. Somehow I knew instinctively it was Enyo as I sprinted from the kitchen to the street to find a lifeless heap of silky fur seconds after this creature, who had brought us so much joy and laughter, had leaped after a squirrel.

Life brings us wake-up calls. A phone call in the middle of the night, news a loved one is dying of cancer and a scream in the middle of a warm fall day.

All you can do is put one foot in front of the other, gather mums from the yard for a burial and wrap what you want to keep so badly in a blanket of love.

And then let them go to become another spoke of the circle of life.