DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
— John Donne
Theo was with me for twenty-one years. After months of remembering the life of a cat that was so much more than just a pet, a feline, or even an animal, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are no words or perfect stories that can sum up his long and loving life. But to say noting of his wonderful personality and his loving ways would be a dishonor to his memory. I was four when I got Theo and being of such a tender age I have very few if any memories that Theo is not apart of. There are twenty-one years of memories that I could share and out of
all these memories four burn brightly in my minds eye.
I remember Theo jumping out of the top window in base housing when we lived in San Pedro, California. The amazing sky diving, death defying feline, Theo was perfectly fine just a little shaken up and very glad to see me. I don’t even know why I remember it so well. It’s just one of those funny things.
This next memory happened so often in my life I can’t recall that exact time this one took place, but it is my favorite. Theo and I are curled up together in bed. His face is resting so close to mine that our noses are touching and I can smell his sweet yet stinky kitty breath. He is purring; it seems like such a soft sound and yet it is very loud. I am petting his soft and silky fur.
Last March, when I was on bed rest, contracting every ten minutes. Waiting for the contractions to get closer and stronger, Theo was with me every minute. He was a great labor coach, although, he did run for it when my water broke. I think for both, Theo and I, those were two amazing weeks of just laying together in bed. I know Theo loved it especially when Chris brought up the meals.
My last memory, though very sad, shows who Theo was so well. The day he died he lay there in my arms fighting so hard to stay. His eyes still so loving and he tried to comfort me. I was numb when his heart stopped and all grew quite. All I knew was here lay the body of the greatest and most loving cat in the world. And I wished we had loved him more. I hope we can all love Theo more and more until we too die, and leave behind as he did, the love to love unconditionally and the love of life no matter how great or small.