Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Goodnight, Sweet Camille ...



Well, I'm back from something of a hiatus, and I'm sure there's much to catch up on in Blogsville! We spent a couple of weeks in Los Cabos, Mexico (will post more on the trip later), and returned home late this past Friday night. It was a rather grueling day of travel (a layover through Phoenix and delayed flight put us home past midnight), and upon arriving home we learned that our sweet little old kitty, Camille, had passed away.

My mother-in-law left a note for us, telling us what had happened. She had been house and pet-sitting for us, and on January 6th she came over to take care of the cats and discovered that Camille had fallen asleep and passed away. She said that Camille looked peaceful, so I'm really hoping that she truly did just go in her sleep, and that she didn't suffer. She was almost 19 years old - a remarkable age for a cat to reach - and she had grown increasingly frail. Her hearing and eyesight had greatly diminished in a very short time. Her ability to control elimination was compromised (and certainly not helped by two kittens in the house who for some reason seemed intent on tormenting her), so for a number of months she had been residing in what we called her "senior living apartment." This just meant that she had the spare bedroom/workout room all to herself, where she could be safely sequestered from the bratty youngsters and surrounded by all of the things that comforted her most.

My dear in-laws wrapped her in a gold blanket and laid her to rest in our back garden. As of this writing, I have not yet been able to bring myself to visit her final resting place ... it just hurts too much to think that her tiny body is lying still and lifeless in the earth. She came into my life at a time when I craved a little someone to love and nurture, just about the time when it became quite clear that I was never going to have children of the human variety. It may sound silly to say that she filled that void, but that's what happened. She seemed to reserve the majority of her affection just for me. It's like she just knew that I needed an unconditionally loving being to bond with, and that's exactly what she was.

On the night that I returned home from Mexico and learned she was gone, I had a dream. In it, Camille was very much alive and well -- she appeared not as the little old lady that she had become towards the end, but as she was when she was in her prime. I could see her and feel her and hear her, but I knew in the dream that she was, indeed, gone. I turned to Rocky and asked, "Don't you see her? She's right there!" -- but he did not. I phoned my parents and told them that I thought there was something very wrong with me, as I knew my cat was dead, yet I could still see her. She was somehow still very much present. And then, Camille looked at me with her emerald green eyes and somehow she relayed this message to me: "Please allow me to go." And when I relented whatever hold on her that I had, she floated up towards the ceiling. In the next dream scene, we were transported outdoors and it was dark, and she was floating up into the ink-black, starry sky -- up and up and up, until she faded from view. And when I could no longer see her, somehow, I immediately felt at peace. Even when I awoke from the dream, I basked in a sense of comfort and well-being.

I miss her, and I know with certainty that I will continue to miss her for a long time to come. But I like to think that the dream was a message from our creator -- the very one who created me, and you, and my sweet Camille. He imbued her with a unique personality and her own individual characteristics, and if He cared enough to do that -- if He cared enough to make her so very special and then give her to me to love, I know in my heart that He has provided a place for her beyond this realm. And I trust that I will meet her again, when the time is right.

Until then, goodnight, my sweet little cat. You were a treasure to me.

10 comments:

  1. (((Jen))) .. I felt the same way about my Scruffy Cat, she came into my life after I returned from burying my father .. she was the scruffiest little thing you ever wanted to see, thus her name. She looked very much like your Camille.

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  2. Glad you're back! Sorry to hear about Camille, very sad. Special pets have a way with staying with you forever.

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  3. So sorry for the loss of your beloved baby. Yes, I felt the same way about my dog 'Skipper.' My best friend, my companion, my baby. I couldn't bring myself to replace him and I still have his tags in my jewelry box. He was a 'good boy.' I know by the way you speak of her that Camille was special. Yes, you'll meet her again someday. I'm sure of it. xxoo

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  4. I read about your loss on GW, I'm so sorry this happened, I know you love kitties. Hope your vacation was fun.

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  5. oh jen... camille is definitely in a better place now. you know, chinese believe that if a pet dies away from her owner... she does not let her owner see her going... the pet must really really love her owner. so camille must have really loved you a lot. she's at peace now... so should your heart :)

    glad that you're back :))

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  6. Welcome back, Technicolor! I have been "stalking" the blog, awaiting for your return! I THOUGHT you were in Los Cabo! I am SO sorry about Camille - I remember her! And yes, I TOTALLY understand about them filling the void! Right at the time the doctor told me "the store was closed", and I never THOUGHT I wanted children UNTIL he told me that - just someone TELLING me that I COULDN'T - awakened something in me that I had never realized before - maybe I HAD wanted children AFTER ALL! RIGHT AFTER that is when I got my "boy"! He has brought SO much joy and comfort to me - even though he's only 4, the thought of him not being around makes me sad ALREADY - he IS my baby! And I actually DO think that SOMEHOW we WILL meet up with them again!

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  7. Awww...I am SO sad to hear about the loss of your sween Camille. I TOTALLY understand about the love of pets. I truly believe they are waiting on the other side for use in their healthy, young bodies and eager to greet us. I too, have no human children of my own, so I can understand exactly what you are saying about your special relationship with Camille. Hang in there and pour our your love on your two new kitty babies. They will never take Camille's place but can help you through your sadness. Hugs.....

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  8. Haaaa, after 15 minutes... here it is...

    When I was browsing this comment box was missing. So I posted a comment in the previous entry.

    I hope with all these sympathies, you are much better by the time you read my comment... hope you are cheered up after the incident...

    Glad to see you back.

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  9. Oh, Jen, I'm so sorry.
    ((Hugs))

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss of Camille.

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