The day Owen moved out, I came home from helping him move and Coda was sitting on the newel post, meowing at me. I told him it was just us now. I had to keep going because he still needed his breathtakingly expensive cat food. The litter still had to be changed.
We had this routine around breakfast. Coda became a slow and picky eater. I would feed his brothers and then he and I would head into the living room. He would eat a bit, he would go to the bathroom, he might come and visit, then he would eat some more, then he would come and sit with me a bit longer. He would stretch out on my leg and purr.
And I would sing to him.
“In the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes and tell me everything’s gonna be all right”.
Which is what I sang him as the vet put him to sleep. With my voice breaking, tears falling on his fur. I was the last voice he heard.
Which is as it should be. This is the last gift of fealty I give my pets, this moment where I walk with them to the very end, my voice telling them they are loved. Not were loved, but are.
Somewhere in this great universe of ours, there is a place where our animals go. Filled with sunshine and soft blankets and cocktail shrimp.
And if I am very good, at the end of my life I will go there too.