My friend, Jack
Jack would give unconditional love and affection and his needs were very few. He gave everything. Almost a reversal of human nature. Sometimes I'd catch him looking at me and all I would see were his large black pupils, ringed with yellow and I felt totally comfortable.
When he died, his open eyes were completely black with absolutely no sign of life, but he looked very relaxed and peaceful. Jack was his usual floppy self when I picked him up. But lifeless.
Jack never showed any sign of hostility or anger, except to some unknown cats found prowling around his territory. Occasionally, he might gently close his jaws around my hand, but never with any force. Just playing and I'd feel just a slight nip from his teeth before he released me. When lying on my chest, he'd sometimes reach up and touch my face. The ends of his sharp claws causing just the slightest tingle. So gentle. I miss all that. This was Jack.
Arthritic hips affected his gait, but he'd still climb the stairs and jump onto my bed. In the last 2 years of his life he suffered a growth in his throat though controlled by medication. My hero, Jack. His weight ultimately declined and a good appetite just didn't seem to be enough, but he never complained. Always purring and looking hugely content and covering any pain with great aplomb.
Jack didn't waste away, he justÉ died.
The mark of a true champion is how to handle defeat and it's how we live that creates the legacy that lives on after we die. The continuance at death. Jack was my hero. This lives on. I'd lost something wonderful from my life when he passed on, though I was hugely privileged to have had him enter my life. Animals do have a soul and the spirit had already left when I placed him into the ground to return the biological components. Jack's spirit may have moved on, but I keep him always in my memory.
I hadn't encountered a white feather for over two years, but two days after I found Jack's lifeless body there was one on the very spot where he rested. An angel's symbol of peace and farewell. Jack was so much more than a pet. He was my friend. After more than 40 years, the nearly forgotten memory of an early friend, Mick, a lovely Border Collie, entered my consciousness for no apparent reason. Now Felix has gone, but never forgotten. Even before that: Monty, Emma. The semi-feral Domino. My best friends. And now Bella - very much alive. The rest are all memories, but at last safe with me. Wonderful creatures. In my life I have been blessed with many friends.
Farewell and thank you, all. For that life-time of wonderful years.
© Louis Brothnias (2010)