the void of my cat’s death (which few can understand) –

from Ilaria Copeta

Amazing how an animal sneaks into a home and into people’s lives. They advise me to take another pet into the house, but my cat was my home: I do not want anyone else, I just want her

A month ago I had to have my cat killed who had been walking around my house for ten years. I did it on an afternoon full of school commitments and close to a thousand deadlines. She and I went out, I breathed, she in the carriage, on her last journey to the vet. I called the principal, I explained the situation, see I just can not, my cat is dying; fortunately he understood why it was not something to be taken for granted. Not a relative, a parent. On the way back it was just me and the empty carrier. one of my friends arrived, she said to me, I have put everything away, bowls, food, everything, and then we have a big glass. My house is now much cleaner, no hair anywhere, no stinks of cat food, no more rubbish to clean up. Every now and then I find some of his boxes or play around the house and almost always automatically return from the door thinking she’s coming to greet me or I turn confidently to see her pearl gray shadow arrive.

Instead, nothing. Amazing how an animal sneaks into a home and into people’s lives. You could say that my house and the cat were one thing, yes, it was she who moved the rooms, who made the floors resonate with the paws, who made the wood of the furniture stagger, who made a few glasses or vases fall . Ever since my cat left and the house was much cleaner, people have been trying to get me to adopt an animal. Take these kittens, they tell me you’ll get better. Adopt this puppy, they tell me he needs a home and you would be perfect for him. In fact, I only wanted one cat, the cat my cat was still waiting for me at the breakfast table in the morning; yes i know someone will say that a cat coming on the table is disgusting but nothing makes you sick when your pet. I just wish she was still up there on the bed at night to prevent me from sleeping, to get all my sleep more interrupted. Not another cat. Instead, I get the couches ruined by his paws, a few pictures and a lot of sand that I will sooner or later give to someone. I have a small, periodically sore spot in my stomachcomes in waves of memories and habits. The point is not even understandable to everyone, such as. take those who have never had animals and not remotely know that animals are insanely attached to, and then one must let them go in about fifteen years; in an average life of eighty, it means losing them very often, losing many. I do not know if it’s worth it, besides the people around you and you already have to lose weight along the way.

Not everyone understands. So I shut upto. Those who understand are instead trying to get me to compensate in some way, but at the moment I do not want to compensate with anything and I prefer to feel this strange void and randomly wandering around my house not knowing if she will still take care of another animal in her life. My cat’s business reminded me of one of those American poems that was very much in vogue in times of lockdown, dusted off ad hoc from the dusty archives of one of America’s greatest poetesses, Elizabeth Bishop, winner of the 1956 Pulitzer Prize. It is called One Art, but today it is best known for its first verse; the art of losing is not hard to master. The author says that the art of losing is easy to learn because things already contain the intention to get lost, starting with the house keys. He says accept losing something every day, first objects, then the badly spent hours, then move on with names, places, houses, many houses, the places you have crossed, gestures, the laughter of the people you have lost. Which is not difficult and you get used to it. This is because when you have to lose the most important things, you have already assimilated the process, a process that is basically natural. In fact, the real talent you need in life to let go, as much as it looks like we have to say we have to write it, for a disaster.

10 May 2022 (change 10 May 2022 | 10:14)

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