Happy 2015 Everyone. Today’s blog features the final chapter of Oscar’s Tale. “Something Completely Different Fridays” will still continue but will feature other writing of mine that is ‘completely different’ from my usual fair. Please feel free to comment on what you thought of Oscar’s Tale, and if there were any characters you could see ‘spinning off’ into tales of their own!
Epilogue–Secret of the Universe: The Purr
A life well lived is not always a life easily lived. I can vouch for that personally. Although I wouldn’t trade any of it for a second, I also wouldn’t wish some of the harsher moments on anyone. There is no scarier feeling than being lost, except for, perhaps, being attacked by dogs. I wanted Onyx to understand these things without becoming a scaredy cat. I wanted to spare him some of my suffering, but none of the learning. I know that is unrealistic, but the heart wants what the heart wants.
I advised Bailey to talk to Onyx and to tell him about the risks with the dogs who don’t like cats. Onyx needed to understand that the world is filled with all kinds of animals, and life wasn’t always instantly safe for a cat. Together, we decided to start taking Onyx to the outside together. We wanted him to learn as much as he could under the safety of our supervision. Baily knew Onyx’s scent, I knew if need be she could track him anywhere. Additionally, Onyx and I developed a system of sound: the purr.
I trained Onyx to understand a great variety of purrs. I also demanded that he be able to repeat more than one type of purr. Onyx was bright, and nothing short of a gifted purrer. He understood that true and deep love that cats can express with the purr, and for his age, he had an exceptional understanding of love. It was easy teaching him a variety of purrs.
I know I would never be like Monty, but I was really starting to get the hang of this head pet stuff. Soon all I had to do was step back and just give everybody space to be them. I was starting to understand that when you love enough, then you are strong enough to know when others need your help, and when they don’t. So as Bailey and I taught Onyx about yard safety, Bailey took the lead, and I stayed nearby and purred. It was fun for me to watch Bailey work with Onyx.
One of the first times we had Onyx out, he started hunting grasshoppers. We were all pretty impressed. Bailey was also curious. She snuffled up to Onyx to investigate. She looked down at what Onyx had pressed under his sooty little paw. All the folds on Bailey’s head cascaded forward, and all Bailey could do was sniff since her eyes were covered in folds. Bailey’s nose snuffled closer to Onyx’s prey, and Onyx put a paw on top of all of Bailey’s many wrinkles. It was gentle, but firm. Onyx said to Bailey “No-no, No-no”. Bailey didn’t move. Onyx told her where she could find her own grasshopper, and she set off snuffling up grasshoppers and zig-zagging all across the yard. In that moment, Bailey reminded me a little of Mitzie.
Onyx didn’t zig-zag—he was far more efficient. He would listen, look, and pounce. That day he caught and ate three or four grasshoppers. He came and sat down beside me. His little belly was sticking out and he was purring a loud and proud purr. He had eaten so much I wondered how he wasn’t sleepy. Bailey was still actively pursuing her first grasshopper. Onyx got up and ran to her. He started hunting grasshoppers and bringing them to Bailey. And although she really didn’t need to eat a single grasshopper, Bailey ate every single one like it was bestest doggie treat in the whole wide world. I don’t know who was prouder, Onyx, Bailey, or even me!
In this moment I took it all in. This was my life nine. It could last many years, or only a few months. Either way, it was something both sweet and amazing. I was truly blessed. Feeling blessed is a magical feeling. It enables you to see your whole life, and understand how every single moment conspired to bring you to the now—this now. I purred my elder cat purr. Without missing a beat, and without really realizing it, Onyx started purring his own special purr. Bailey, not really able to purr, seemed to coo in reasonable facsimile. Soon Lolly would be home from school. Soon Grandma would be calling us in for supper. In both cases, all of our hearts will soar. This is the life.