Article Specs |
Article ID: 14386
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,450
Times Read: 2,524
RSS Views: 35,934
Type of Passage: Death
Date of Passage: December 30th. 2010
Posted: January 2nd. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,524
The dawn brings a forbearing sadness, finale to a night of vigilance, consoling, affection, and weeping at the drawn out death-bed of a dear friend and familiar, Esbat/Elspeth “Bubba Kitty”. She had been severely ill, compounded by the effects of old age, for a couple of weeks prior to her passing.
I was adopted by her on the full moon in August of 1996 when she was already about three years old. Mowing the tall grass and dead perennials, she leapt from the brush just before the whirling blades would have shredded her life, to the sound of defiant, indignant mewling for disturbing her nap. We merrily greeted, she, rubbing against my legs in acceptance of my profuse apologies, and upon my opening the screen door, immediately darted en route for the inner sanctuary, claiming it as her own. Her adoption of me was formalized later that night when she entered the sacred circle for the first time and I gave her the name of Esbat, which later became Elspeth.
In the beginning, there were many times she had to be forcibly removed from the dinner (or lunch – breakfast) table in search of more tantalizing fare than her customary tender canned beef, turkey, or chicken, especially when it was grilled, baked, or breaded chicken fresh from the stove. Our first Thanksgiving, as I could not be with my family in celebration of the holiday, I prepared a feast of stuffed Cornish Hen, replete with mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, and other sundry holiday accoutrements and set a small plate next to mine for her. She amazed me, as for a change, she exhibited exemplary table manners, hind legs on the chair, her two front legs straddling the plate, and ate daintily the hen with gravy and even sampled some mashed potatoes and a few peas.
She regularly brought me presents from her early hunting excursions, a field mouse or bird, and on one occasion, a nearly full grown rabbit. From the time she was spayed and over the ensuing years, she remained indoors, chattering at the birds that taunted her outside the window she loved to sit at, letting the sun warm her, but never made an attempt to leave the comfort of her castle. Her constant, persistent meow-ling when in heat prompted me to have her spayed. Her return from the doctor tugged on my heart, watching her attempt to walk like a drunken sot of a sailor. But within a few days she was right as rain, and up to her same old habits and poor table manners. Over time though, she realized that if she waited patiently by my feet, occasionally issuing a begging mewl, that she would share and partake of whatever I had on my plate, although more often than not, it was mere curiosity as to what was on the plate rather than wanting to eat what was there. Her begging techniques and getting under foot, gleaned from a couple of wayward canines in my keeping for a time, although annoying every time I prepared food in the kitchen or sat down to eat, will be missed. I shall also miss her gently waking me up at breakfast time to feed her. She would gently paw my face and nose to waken me and if I didn’t stir and rise fast enough to suit her, first the claws would come out, just enough to be extremely annoying, and then would start nibbling on the closest patch of bare skin letting me know if I didn’t feed her soon, the threat of chewing on me might turn into an actual option.
Always first at the door to greet me upon my return, even if it was a short walk to the store or post office over the ensuing fourteen years, she shared the sacred circle with me most every month, curling up nearly dead center as the rite began until its conclusion. Over those years, we both became “longer in the tooth” and I conferred upon her the status of “Granny” with the subsequent adoptions by other younger children. Like a true “Granny”, she took no guff from the youngsters, standing her ground even up to a few days before her passing. She was the Queen and Crone, the first of the merry band of “Mouser-teers”, Earth and grounding in the circle. Her earthiness and direct demeanor, never wanting attention, unless she initiated it (by climbing up my leg with sharpened claws onto my lap) earned her the nickname of “Bubba”. She was the salt of the earth that gave the rest of life flavor and meaning, just a plain “ol’ Bubba-kitty”, that loved playing in paper bags and with wadded up paper, often times carrying her favorite paper wad in her mouth to continue play upstairs or to a more suitable location, and even dropping it into my lap so I could toss it for her to chase.
She will be sorely missed and leaves behind Athena (Teenie Skittle Kid) her companion, playmate, cuddle partner and Air in the circle for the last 12 years, Sheeba her protégé and Fire in the circle for the last 9 years, Meesha her polar opposite and Water in the circle for the last 4 years, and her adopted shaman, Beoluth. She is preceded in death by her first polar opposite and initial Water of the circle, Momma Cats, with whom she now plays with in the fields in Summerland. We shall all merry meet again, my dearest friend.
Location: Cochranton, Pennsylvania
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