This past weekend I had to say goodbye to my 17-year old cat Tinker. He had been battling some minor ailments the past few years and was blind, but he had a heart of gold through it all. The one huge thing I’ve learned from him throughout this time has been patience. He was always willing to give his attention and love no matter how bad he was feeling, and he never complained. Seventeen years ago Tinker picked me when I visited the humane society to find a new four-legged friend. In a wire cage sat this small gray and white cat with huge ears. His paw reached through the wires to touch me as I was passing by. In short time he grew into those ears, eventually weighing over 20 pounds – a big lug of a cat, for sure. He was a welcoming committee of one; he loved to greet people and become their new best friend. His favorite spot was to sit in a splash of sunshine and soak up the warmth. When the sun wasn’t shining (as was often the case in Washington state), he’d curl up next to the gas fireplace insert or the small radiant heater. With all that heat his coat would become so warm and seemingly more soft too. Tinker was usually obliging when I wanted to take his photograph, and for that I’m very thankful as I now have a collection of images that captured him in some of his best moments.
While I was at the veterinary hospital I found a quote that someone had posted from Mary Oliver’s poem “In Blackwater Woods”:”To live in the world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.” Thanks, my friend.