about writing and life and God

Epitaph for Bella

on September 4, 2014

It’s been a glorious summer. I have sat in the sun, turned a nice golden brown, read lots of books, stitched a couple of tapestries, listened to lots of music, and got thoroughly rested. And now it’s September and I have a sense of change. As summer gives way to autumn and the mornings becomes pleasantly crisp, I’m asking what happens now?

Yesterday the first major change arrived. I found Bella, the talking cat, lying on the ground virtually paralysed and in great distress. I took her at once to the vet’s. A stroke, he reckoned. Making the decision to have her put to sleep was hard – but listening to her continuous cries of distress, seeing her useless floppy body, that decision had to be made – and so Bella slipped away at 5.30 p.m. yesterday.

This morning when I went downstairs to feed Lucy alone was poignant. No Bella to call in from outside. No vociferous Bella arriving commenting on life, the universe and everything, not to mention what time do I think this is?! 


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We’d only intended to have the one cat but when we went to collect Bella, her sibling, the runt of the litter, a skinny scrawny little thing, looked so pathetic, we brought her home too. But Bella was always ‘my’ cat – or rather I was ‘her’ human: her lap to sit on, her warm body to snuggle against on the bed. But this summer, she became an outdoors cat, spending most of her days on the shed roof. She became unfriendly and anti-social, arriving only at mealtimes – and swearing.

Lucy, the pathetic squeaky little runt of the litter, became the house cat, the lap cat, the little animal snuggling in beside me in the armchair. And I see that now as a generous blessing. I became used to having only Lucy’s company. So the loss of Bella, although sad, will not cut as sharply. Because of Lucy. And I am grateful.

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This morning, I fed Lucy, and then put Bella’s bowls in to wash. I filed away the vet’s bill. And I look back with thanksgiving – for the kindly care she received yesterday. For the joy and delight of her company these past 12 years. For all the times her soft warm body comforted me in my distress – and all the times her antics made me laugh.

Thank You, my Heavenly Father, Creator of all creatures great and small, for thinking up pussy cats. What a wonderful idea! Thank You for bringing Bella and Lucy into my life. Thank You for all the joy and delight, solace and comfort You have given me through them. Bless them both now – as I entrust Bella specially into Your care. Amen


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