Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Saying Goodbye to Shadow, Baby Boy Baba, by Remembering the Good Moments
Today's discussion is tinged with sadness and grief. Last night I found my sweet, fur baby Baba laying in a darkened corner, already gone. It was such a shock as he is only 6 and a half years old. But as I lie awake last night, as there was no way I could sleep, I thought of the best way I could honor his life and his memory.
I would dedicate this blog post by remembering the wonderful, happy, funny memories I have of him over the past 6 years. These I would like to share with you.
On October 20th, 2008 I was teaching an evening class at Enchantments, when a small, scared black cat came in the school and walked up the stairs to my office and started to rub up against my ankles. She was lost I thought. We found out later that she had been abandoned at Enchantments because she was pregnant. We took her in, called her Calli, and welcomed her four kittens born a little over a month later on December 3rd.
Calli had four kittens and Shadow was the last one born. He came out pure black initially so we called him Shadow. He was the runt, so small and dark. I was worried about him making it, he seemed so weak at first. I remember one night around midnight, I went up to the store and laid down a green cloak, one that I had worn during rituals, on the floor of the closet where the kitten nursery was located, and placed him with the other kittens on it. By the next morning Shadow started eating better and moving around on stronger limbs. In magick, green is a color of physical healing.
After the kittens were about two months old, a dear friend brought a big, huge, bag of kitten chow up to the store. It was too early for them to eat it, they were still on mother's milk, so I put the bag down on the floor in the corner for when they could start eating dry food. One day I came around the corner and the sight I beheld was of one tiny, very fluffy kitten, Shadow, who had crawled up the massive bag of food. He had chewed a hole in the top corner of the bag and was contentedly sitting and chewing on the dry food! I checked with the vet and he said that the kittens were far too young for dry food and he might choke! I took the dry food away, but Shadow whose name morphed into Baby Boy Baba has had an awesome appetite ever since.
His name morphed because when I brought Shadow home from the store, now being the owner of 7 cats, I wanted to split them between home and work, I started to call him Baby Boy. All of the kittens had spots and unique characteristics about them that told us they were in part Egyptian Mau. When I started researching Maus I found out that the original Matriarch cat that started them all was called Baba, over 5,000 years ago in Egypt. Putting Baba after Baby Boy sounded just too good, and it stuck.
Baba also had long, fluffy hair, an amazing fluffy, full tail and strong Maine Coon markings which tells us something about his daddy. Now I found it interesting from the vet that if a cat gives birth to four kittens, it's very likely that there were four father cats involved! Which explains the difference in coloring and markings. Even though the mother is all black, I believe the mother is the carrier of the Egyptian Mau genes.
Being partially Maine Coon, he had a fondness for water. Every time I went into my bathroom he would be right there ready to jump on the sink for a drink of water. He had a habit, as my hand was turning the faucet on, of licking the back of my hand as if in thanks. He kissed me every time he did this. In the past few months he grew a bit lazy, or it might have been his heart, where he would sit on the floor and look up at me. Beseechingly, asking me with his big soulful eyes to lift him up to the sink. The vet feels that he had an undiagnosed heart condition that caused his sudden passing. Maybe asking for help to get on the counter was a sign, that sadly I didn't see for what it was. Every night he would sleep in his kitty bed, and I would hear it creak when I went to the bathroom, as he would follow me in, always, and want a drink of water and always kissed my hand.
He liked to lay on the bed next to me at night, when we would watch television together. He would lay next to me and kneed the blankets with his big, gray paws. His paws were large, over an inch wide and so gentle. I never knew him to ever extend his nails. He always kept them in. He would lay next to me, but when I would lift him up and put him on my lap he would tense up and when I took my hands off of him he would scamper away. To always come back later and lay next to me. Happily, in the last few months, he started to initiate laying on my lap all on his own. He would climb on me and lay down and turn so he could watch the television or turn so he could watch me. This made me happy, that he chose to lay on me, without my grabbing him and putting him there. This happened mostly in the past few weeks. He seemed lately to want to be near me as much as possible.
When we would sit down for dinner, we have a booth and benches in our kitchen, Baba would sit next to me on the booth and look over my plate for his one favorite food, chicken. He wouldn't eat any table scraps or pieces of any kind of meat unless it was chicken. I'm glad the last time we ate chicken, I shared my portion with him. He always looked up at me with his deep, soulful eyes, looking so wise and sweet.And pleading for one bite of chicken, Mom, please?
Shadow Baby Boy Baba is an impressive name for an impressive cat. He was a gentle giant, that only meowed when he wanted a drink of water or to tell us something special. He liked to play with the feather stick but only on the ground, he wasn't a jumper. He would sit next to the couch on the floor next to our feet and loved a red, fluffy blanket we call the mommy blanket, because as soon as they are on it, a cat has to start kneading as if ready to nurse from the mother cat. I'll always remember his enjoyment of sitting next to the balcony door, in the sunshine, looking out at the birds on the feeder, his big, fluffy tail swiping the floor in his happiness. I'll always remember his one little snaggle tooth that stuck out when his mouth was closed, giving him an endearing expression. I'll always remember how full and heavy he was in my arms, filling them and making it feel like you were holding a big, furry baby. Which I was. I'll always remember him.
Last night, after he passed, I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I knew he was gone, but I still turned the water on for him. Only this time I didn't feel his little tongue on the back of my hand. I miss that gentle kiss in the worse way.
Baby Boy Baba was my gentle, loving, fur baby and I will miss him, like a piece of my heart is now gone. I couldn't sleep last night, but when I closed my eyes I envisioned the two of us, walking side by side along a dirt road in a vast field of green. In the sunshine of the Summerland, just the two of us. I'm not ready to leave him. So I'll continue to walk by his side . . .
I thank you for reading my memories of Shadow Baby Boy Baba. Ms. Faith
Peace and Happiness
© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to be included on our daily email distribution list send me an e mail with your email address to be included. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.
at Tuesday, March 24, 2015