I have kept things pretty quiet around here lately. I had a shitty week I couldn't face writing about, yet couldn't bear to write about anything else first without acknowledging our loss. I was out of town doing fieldwork for a few days this week, during that brutal heat wave. Normally any time spent in the field and out of the office is good, but when I called SodaBoy from my hotel room Tuesday night, he had terrible news for me: Elijah was dead, apparently killed by the terrible heat.
I had seen him that morning, petted him while he had a bite to eat, and he seemed perfectly normal. SodaBoy saw him not 10 minutes before he expired, and again, he seemed normal. We both feel terrible that we didn't think to lock him in the basement where it is cooler, but unfortunately the thought did not occur in time. Elijah had been with us through similar weather in the past with no trouble. The complacency must have dulled our senses.
Anyway, I wanted to write a tribute to Elijah, the same way I had done for Meshoe when she died. However, writing that piece about Meshoe was hard, and I found myself begging off, unable to confront my grief and guilt about Elijah. Then when I started thinking about it, I realized I've already told many of his stories, how he loved walking with us, even in the winter, and of his fondness for catnip.
So I will share instead the burial mound SodaBoy built for Elijah in our backyard. It is far back in the yard, right at the base of the path leading up into the woods. Under a lilac tree, the fieldstones bordering the edge of a garden wrap around the monument. It is a nice shady spot where Elijah loved to play in the dirt.
We couldn't possibly have loved you any more, Elijah. You were the sweetest kitty, demanding hugs, and purring louder the tighter we squeezed. You are sorely missed, friend.