When the light is full, I will bury Carmel in softest earth below the pines where this year’s robins sing their jeweled songs.
Carmel is no more.
Carmel began life as a street cat in the narrows between the row tenements of San Francisco. He came to the relative wilds of Montana by way of my daughter. Though ever cautious from his time on the street, he maintained a mild disposition. For the first few years with me, he shrunk away from my reach. Eventually, I, and others, earned his trust.
He sometimes scampered up and down the hall for no apparent reason. He enjoyed sitting beside me when I drank my morning coffee and he liked high places. Carmel loved food. I mean he loved food. I jokingly—no, make that lovingly—called him 20 pounds of housecat.
He was a big, sweet boy.
Carmel and I shared our final quality time together three days ago when he weakly ambled out to sit in the shade of a chokecherry. I followed him and then sat beside him where he lay. We remained out there for nearly a half-hour. Me, petting him. He, purring softly, stretching a little.
I found Carmel in the pre-dawn this morning. He was hidden away in his final narrow place, utterly still. I touched his head and thanked him for being a good boy. I sat on the floor and wept into my hands.
Rest in peace, Carmel.