March ?, 1966 — November 28, 2011
This is the last picture I took of 'Zeek', our beloved cat of over fifteen years. Without going into the details of her last days let me simply say she was a simple cat without ego or pretensions, she never wrote a book, made a movie, or resolved more than six or seven diplomatic crises. But she proved her worth, no matter what scale you chose, more times than I can remember. At the end: no quivering lip, no sad mewing, no plaintive pleading, only a quiet stoicism worthy of Socrates.
Why did you call her "Zeek", you might ask? Well, less than two days after she was born [there were four embryonic kittens in the litter] her mother was killed. I found them under my work bench, birthed in a box filled with nuts and bolts. They were so small an eye dropper was too big to feed them and I used a toothpick to drip milk into their mouths until an eye dropper designed for a doll became useable. Gradually I added bread, mashed tuna and ground meat to the solution and two of them thrived, the other two died the day after I found them. "Ginger", her brother, was killed by a passing automobile a few days after we had him neutered, on my late October birthday. "Zeek" lived on. We always enjoyed reading the various Dr. Seuss books to our children when they were young and 'The Cat in the Hat' was a favorite. In the book the Cat takes off his (or her) hat only to uncover another, smaller cat, who also takes off his (or her) hat, until we reach the tiniest cat of all, little cat "Z". Hence "Zeek", who began life as the smallest of cats, and died bigger than I can ever hope to be.
Bon voyage Zeek, get in touch if you get a chance.
[Though obviously not about a cat I recommend a reading of 'The House Dog's Grave' by Robinson Jeffers, for what might be an animals perseptive.]