Jennifer Williams is the Web editor for the Catholic Review.


April 2015
March 2015

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Recent Comments

I like the "never give up philosophy." Gavin is a great example for today's youth.


Great to hear about the generous volunteer effort by Candace Gold. Have always enjoyed her on TV and it is nice to know she is so nice when she is off camera as well as on.


A cat’s funeral and chocolate lava cake

I woke up Tuesday, Aug. 6 with a sense of dread. I’d spent the night before pouring my heart out to my sick cat, Payton, telling him what a loyal and wonderful cat he had been.

I know he’s a cat, but just in case he understood, I wanted him to know what he’d meant to me in the last 11.5 years of my life.

He’d been suffering from severe arthritis, significant weight loss and senility, and a neighbor confirmed what I already knew – it was time.

So on this particular morning, after a night intermingled with my tears and Payton’s purring (yes he still purred through it all), I stood in front of my closet and pondered, “What do you wear to a cat’s funeral?”

Payton and his sister Phoebe were a gift to me – two tiny, adorable orange tabby bundles of joy that I fell in love with on the spot. Turns out they were the kind of gift that kept on giving – from the laughter they brought as curious kittens to the loyalty they demonstrated by running to my front glass door each evening as I returned from work.

“Boy and Girl,” as I affectionately dubbed them, offered purrs, headbutts and snuggles when I was almost engaged, but wasn’t, and the six heartbreaking months that followed. They were there when I left the county and transitioned to the city about seven years ago – a solid source of comfort in my otherwise changing life. They’ve been there for all the laughter that has ensued from hanging out with the neighbors and soaked up the sun with me on gorgeous spring days on my back patio. They’ve left plenty of hairballs yet shared a multitude of purrs.

Payton was particularly clever … having discovered that if he opened up my jewelry box using his claws, then snagged a necklace and dropped it on the floor, I was bound to finally get up and feed him his breakfast. Either that or he’d stand on his hind legs and slam my bedroom door shut and then look at me with that “Well now you need to get up and let me out look.”

Everything felt empty after I said goodbye. I looked at the tattered blue collar that no longer held my cat, the empty carrier in the back seat of the car – and I cried for the loss of my friend. As tears plopped onto the yellow skirt I chose to wear, I reminded myself that I wanted to be happy for the life he lived and the joy he brought to me.

I got home and discovered a card from neighbors in the mailbox. Others came over to talk to me about the day. On Facebook, people offered kind and supportive messages. Another neighbor made dinner, even offering a chocolate lava cake with raspberries for dessert. As I finished that chocolate cake and went home to snuggle with Phoebe, I realized that while days such as this are never easy, and my life was a little bit empty, it was also very full.

8/7/2013 9:12:58 AM
By Jennifer Williams