Your cat has passed on. What remains?

What remains of your lost cat, long passed away? You may have kept her ashes. They are a dry, dead substance which awakens your memory of her in bright colours and sharp definition. The remains of our beloved cats that have died are in our memory.

How often do you sit in your armchair or lie in bed and harvest your memory, flicking through the video clips of your mind? How many memory movies do you have of her or him?

Although everything that I experienced with my beloved Missie and Binnie is in memory, I can only recall certain events but they are very clear.

The first and most delightful is a short memory video of Missie running down from the back of the garden with Binnie following. I had just returned from work and was living in a detached house, alone, with quite a large garden. They heard me arrive and raced to greet me at the kitchen door. Missie’s athleticism meant she was well ahead of Binnie. Joy was written all over her body and behavior.

Before that I remember Missie as a kitten chasing around the house with her brother tearing up furniture.  There are many more memories. As long as I live she lives in my memory. I worry that she will no longer exist in any form when I die.

The clearest memory I have of my late Binnie is holding her on my shoulder when she was at the end of her life. She was frail and bony. I felt very strongly that the end was near. The strong emotions harden memory.

You don’t need to look at a photograph of your cat or a video after she has died. You simply dip into your memory. Memory seems to bring not only still and moving images but also a greater connection with emotions that you had at the time. It isn’t only the physical presence of your cat that you memorise but the attached emotions.

There is a wider primal concept of memory based on the belief that the earth has a mind. When you visit some places you can sense the history. It is almost as if the memory of times past is locked into the fabric of the landscape. This is the concept proposed by John O’Donohue in his book, “Stone As The Tabernacle of Memory”.

If this is true my Missie has left traces of herself in that home I occupied for a short time and where she died.

I’ll finish on a John O’Donohue quote from the book:

“The soul is the home of memory, as you go through your life nothing is ever lost or forgotten; all the kindnesses and experiences of your life are gathered together in the Divine tabernacle of memory.…”


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36 thoughts on “Your cat has passed on. What remains?”

  1. Michael? Do you ever chase your cats around the house? I do. That’s how I bond.

    Would Charlie accept a kitten? My experience -as well as yours, no doubt–tells me that he would. Provided that it is NOT Siamese…. (?)

      • Do you happen to know how long Charlie could live? Michael, my spotted-bellied silver tabby loved to romp around the bungalow at Orchard St with me. He never tired of it! I’d sometimes give up, lie down on the floor to rest up a bit, and he would pounce on me again, as if to say, “Are you going to sleep all night? Come on, it’s your turn!” I miss it so much.

  2. The fabric of the landscape, the multidimensional matrix that encompasses the landscape, our experience, our emotions within that context and time. This is what ties us to our universe, even our multiverse.

    Haven’t we all had passing thoughts of either our cats passing away with us, or we with them? I know that I have, each time one meets her/his earthly end. And yet, when I look into the night sky following my little Shrimpster’s gaze, wondering what he can see that I, too, can see; and what I can see that he can not; and what he can see, in his infinite wisdom, that I cannot; I wonder, isn’t this life beautiful? It doesn’t matter how poor you are; it doesn’t matter, the aches and physical pains, because in that moment, in that exceoptional moment, the entire universe seems to envelope me, Shrimpie, us. And I feel content.

    Sometimes, in a moment of clarity during our reality, I think, wow, my cat is so much more venerable than me. 🙂


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