One day we'll be nothing.
My first pet, Bobby, died Friday morning. He was 12 years old. He would have lived several more years, but he was attacked by a neighborhood cat while my mother was out of town. She took him to the vet on Tuesday where they drained an abscess on his knee. But the antibiotics must not have been powerful enough to push all of the toxins out of his body.
He died this morning in his carrier as my mother rushed to the vet. He died miserable, barely able to breathe, screaming with raspy breath. He deserved a better death.
My mother is second guessing her every move over the last few days, wishing she'd taken him back to the vet the night before, or earlier this morning. This is the first animal she'd allowed to live in her house, allowed herself to love since girlhood, and he'd become her companion since my sister and I had grown up and moved out.
This death is such a betrayal of his personality. He was such a loving and loyal creature. He died because he chose to defend himself and his yard against another cat instead of running. He was the kind of cat who loved to just be near you, especially when you were outside working in the yard. He'd follow us around, playing in the straw and leaves, and always wanted to be close.
He loved us. I truly believe that Bobby knew how to love and that he gave his love to us.
I saw him just a couple of weeks ago when I went down for Kelli's graduation. He still remembered me, greeted me in the driveway, meowed and danced around my ankles, absorbed the petting, and rolled around on the concrete to scratch his back and sides.
Mama called me sobbing from the car as she was going to pick up lime to keep dogs away from his grave. She dug it in the backyard at their house in Canebrake where he spent the last seven years playing. He probably thought of it more as home than the house on Jamestown where we all lived together.
Bobby was a stray that my high school friend Michelle gave us in the summer of 1995. He was my first real pet besides fish and the pets at the farm that I got to see twice a month. He had a little red paisley pillow on a string with a jingle bell. It was his favorite object in his world. He would carry it in his mouth and make strangled mewling sounds in the middle of the night. He loved it until it was barely a mushy, red rectangle. I wish Mama could have buried it with him.
He adored being brushed and scrambling after pine straw we dragged across the ground. He became an outside/porch cat in his later years because of bladder issues, but he loved being outside.
I'm writing all this down because I know I'll eventually forget. And there will be nothing left of him.
Now I can't even remember Sebastian's meow. I can remember Bobby's, but not Sebastian's. I lost him three years ago.
And today was going to be such a productive day. If I don't do something, I'm going to turn into nothing. I will be forgotten, first all of the details and then finally even the blurry ghost.
I miss you, Bobby.