In a post about my adored Gilda, I wrote:
A friend of mine, Christina, and I developed a ritual.
Somehow, and I don’t recall how, when one of our kitties or doggies died, we stopped using words like DIE or DEAD. Instead, it was announced that they had moved to Florida.
Moved to Florida.
Absurd, yes, but we both found this oddly satisfying. One of our beloved ones would not have, you know, DIED. No, they just moved to Florida. Our intellectual selves knew this was ridiculous, of course, but our emotional selves grasped at this tenuous explanation with a surprisingly eager tenacity.
Moved to Florida. If you repeat this enough times it proves kinda somewhat maybe a tiny bit plausible.
And broken hearts are easily deceived.
Well, yesterday, my sweet Robert moved to Florida. He and his four siblings had been just tiny kittens when Christina and I saved them from drowning in a flash flood. The floodwaters had slammed them into a fence, and they were stuck in a tangle of twigs and debris. Only their little heads were still above water. Meowing in terror.
Robert grew up into a gorgeous, regal, dark tabby. He had an elegance about him, and I should have called him Cary Grant.
Robert’s brother, Chuck, moved to Florida in May. Each had developed a gum disease which made eating too painful. While cortisone shots at the vet helped, this only forestalled their decline a bit.
So, with my eyes wet, and me unable to speak, I gently petted Robert as he boarded his flight.
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