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All Because of a Cat

Benferguson72x722Ben Ferguson -- My fiancee and I had this cat once, probably the coolest cat I or she or anyone else who visited us had ever seen. He was so hairy, so cuddly, and so strangely human, as if he could communicate with us and understand what we were feeling (with the slight exception of all those nights from 2-5am when he just would not shut up). Ringo was surely one of the greatest pets ever.

He often slept so soundly that practically no amount of rousing or kitty versions of sternal rubs would wake him. Lucky for us, this allowed for at least a few minutes of unobstructed access to his gloriously soft paws, of lifting his feet up and letting them fall to the ground, and, thankfully, of freedom from the extreme heat he generated while sitting on your lap.

Then one day I came home and he was dead. He looked asleep, but no amount of shaking or sternal rubs could wake him. It was probably one of the worst days my fiancee or I have ever had, but it also has had lingering effects.

It set into place an emotional connection I’ve developed between deep sleep and death, so much so that I cannot look away from someone or something who’s asleep until they’ve moved, until I know for sure that they’ve not also died. Several mornings a week now, I have a brief, intense fear that my fiancee has died in her sleep while I go to kiss her goodbye. My dog often has bouts of apnea while he sleeps, and if I come upon him during one of them, I think that surely he’s dead. I do this with homeless people sleeping in the park, fellow bus riders who’ve dozed off, and our other cat, too.

I’ve never been happier than I am these days to see the smallest of movements in someone’s chest, but I’m really hoping this goes away before it has a chance to haunt my life on the wards like it is now in the lab.

July 16, 2008 in Ben Ferguson | Permalink


To die, to sleep--
No more--and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to.

Posted by: Beach Bum | Jul 16, 2008 11:11:12 AM

"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality never fully understanding the necessary plan...."
--Irving Townsend -- (on pets)

Posted by: Katz05 | Jul 22, 2008 5:54:27 PM

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