My B&B hosts Anne and Ihor have had a sleepy cat for 14 years. On my visits, Rosie would curl up behind a certain chair in the living room … and doze. She knew me, and would occasionally favour me with her eyes, but she never came close.
On Friday, my friends had their kitty put down. Lung cancer had invaded Rosie’s body and spread to her brain, just like my dear wife Jody. A pall of sadness covers the house, despite some good-natured conversations around the dining room table.
Anne told me about Ron, a former long-term guest in their home. Ron was a cat lover, and Rosie knew it. The two became friends. Late in the day, Rosie would sit on the window sill that gave a good view of the driveway, and wait for Ron’s car to appear. Then she would trot over to the front door to greet him. Ron always sat in the same spot for breakfast and Rosie would nestle close to his feet. When he was in his room with the door open, Rosie would lie at the threshold. Anne says “She was too much of a lady to go in.”
Eventually, Ron’s time in Toronto was done and he said goodbye, especially to his beloved feline companion. In the days after, or maybe weeks after, Rosie would climb up on his chair and pine. It was the only time she would be on a chair. Anne didn’t want her cat to do that but she saw grief and let Rosie be.
I too am a cat lover. I had many kitties before meeting Jody but none thereafter since my lovely wife was allergic to them. Looking back on my times at Anne and Ihor’s B&B, I wonder why Rosie didn’t come calling. I would have loved her attention. And I sit here now and say “It’s okay. Ron was her soulmate.”
Sometimes in my life, I have cared deeply for a human being who loves someone else more than she loves me. Although sadness comes with those memories, there’s a sweetness as well. To love purely without attachment to being Number One is sublime. The ego lets go. The heart continues to open. And it doesn’t matter what comes back to me. All is well.