From the Melville Cat:

Good day, friends. I have sad news: This will be my final blog post.

I am writing to you from Beyond. I don’t know where I’ve gone, exactly. But all is well. I will try my best to explain.

The Melville Cat in the lounge
My favorite photo of myself.

Yesterday began as usual. I conducted my morning explorations and returned home at midday. Heather’s human friend Michelle was in the house, and she and Heather were eating a meal. I demanded to partake, using my usual laser stare. Heather offered me her plate but I didn’t care for the smell.

Heather received a phone call and went outside to speak. I followed. She sat down in my favorite chair and I hopped onto her lap. We remained there together, peacefully, for about half an hour.

When Heather hung up, we went inside and I again demanded food. Heather poured me some crunchy kibble, which I enjoyed. Heather and Michelle returned to work at the dining table. I returned outside to sleep on my favorite chair.

I slept, for some period of time. Suddenly I jolted awake. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe. It hurt. I tried to cry out but no sound came. Then…blackness.

I realize I am a cat, and cats do not normally remember things from long ago. But I swear to you: After the black I remembered everything.

Playing with my siblings, a jumble of gray fur. Cuddling with my first human, Ms. M. Tussling with a fluffy dog. Racing up a tree, the feel of the bark, the leaves. Wandering in the road, far from home. The feathers of a bird in my mouth. The hot sun on my fur. The wind in my whiskers. The taste of chicken. The painful bite of a rival.

Smokey in flowers
Smokey on the roof

The double life I once lived. Climbing through Heather’s window, helping her mourn for Jon. Wearing the blasted cone. Moving to a new house. Running away. Coming home. Meeting Trixie, the Midget Fluff Ball Menace. Wandering the garden at night, singing the mournful song of my people.

Smokey and Jon
Jon and me.
Smokey in cone
The blasted cone.
Smokey and Trixie
Trixie the Fluff Ball Menace and me.
Heather and Smokey photoshoot 2
Heather and me.

Sleeping on warm bricks. Sleeping on the bed. Sleeping in a pile of leaves. Sleeping under a bush in the rain. Sleeping in a hedge. Sleeping on a blanket on the sofa, next to Heather. Sleeping on Heather’s desk atop a messy stack of papers.

I slept in many places.

The Melville Cat on the floor

The memories faded away. I felt myself rise above my body. I looked down and saw Heather and Michelle run outside. “He doesn’t sleep like that,” Heather was saying, staring at my body on the chair. My head hung at a funny angle. My mouth was open.

They stood next to my body. “Oh my god. What…?” Heather asked. “How…?”

“What do we do?” cried Michelle. “What do we do?”

They tried to move my body and it was limp. Heather sobbed. “But he was fine. He was fine he was fine. Twenty minutes ago he was fine.”

She ran inside, came back with the plastic box that I hate. Gingerly, gently, Heather and Michelle slid my body into the box. “He’s still warm,” Heather said. “I think he made a noise. Maybe he’s still alive. He could be alive.”

I wasn’t there anymore. Michelle knew but Heather didn’t know. I hardly knew myself. I had only been gone a few minutes.

They took my body to that place called the vet. Heather needed to do that because she needed to be sure. I understood. But I didn’t go with them.

I stayed in the garden, with the flowers and the trees and warm bricks and the sky. I looked at Trixie through the window. She was in her usual spot on the arm of the sofa, looking out. I think she saw me. She didn’t know what she was seeing but someday she will.

That is how I went. It wasn’t easy — it won’t be easy — but I think it is good. I was with Heather until I went, and that is all we really wanted.

Farewell, from the Melville Cat.

The Melville Cat
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