Saturday, 22 August 2015

Sad farewell to Lila

Below: the last photo taken of Lila. Within half an hour, she'd be dead; an hour later - buried.

Early last month, one of our neighbours found a dead cat on her drive - it looked like the black-and-white tom that fathered Lila's litter of four kittens. Early this month, we noticed that Lila was not well; her eyes were covering up with white film (the third eyelids, which were not retracting). After several visits to the vet - she had a fever for nearly two weeks - blood tests revealed the feline version of HIV, and leukaemia. Her immune system had packed up. She was hardly eating, lying down all day, skin and bone, unwilling to move. Because her condition was infectious, she was confined to the laundry room and garage.

She was put to sleep at the vets this morning, and buried in the garden, between six tall trees.

That's the factual stuff. The emotional and spiritual stuff is swirling around my head. Her little consciousness has been around us since Moni picked her off the streets of Łódź in spring 2012. She was just a few months old then. As a kitten she was playful, but she grew up early; by the time she was around a year old, she became pregnant, and on 10 May 2013, she gave birth to Czester, Feluś, Izadora and Bonus. Knowing that Bonus wouldn't make it, she kept carrying him by the scruff of his neck and leaving him somewhere where the interfering humans wouldn't find him. They did; despite several visits to the vet, the runt of the litter died of a lung infection at the age of three weeks.

There's no sentiment in nature; only we humans feel it.

I buried Lila in the garden, where her body will decompose into the soil; the immortal atoms that once conjoined harmoniously to form her conscious body will move on; through the roots of the trees and bushes into the leaves and fruit, to be pecked at by birds.

As I finished consigning her limp and lifeless body, once so playful, to the earth, a solitary hoverfly appeared and hung in the air over her grave in the August sunshine.

Lila's consciousness slipped inside this particular shell of foam. It observed, it learnt, it moved along that trajectory along which all our consciousnesses move - from Zero towards One. The body that carried that sliver, that scrap of feline consciousness might have begun the process of decomposition in the soil of our garden, but those atoms that once formed the living Lila will spin for ever.

Like Schroedinger's immortal cat, Lila is dead and not dead at the same time. In some other multiverse, she didn't contract the disease, and carried on to live a long and happy life.

All that remains is for me to grieve for her briefly; with a tin of Warka Strong, sitting in the field across the tracks, watching the planes take off from Okęcie, the trains trundling past, swifts, kestrels and cabbage white butterflies in the air, Lila will now always be an eternal part of Jeziorki.

Finally - some photos of Lila's life... Below: as a stray, visiting Jeziorki for the first time, before coming here to settle. Easter 2012.

Below: Lila fulfilled in motherhood. She brought four kittens into the world; just two survived her. One is the ginger tom, our beloved Czester. He had a blood test today to see whether or not he too was carrying the feline immunodeficiency virus. We find out in two weeks.

This time last year:
Your papers are in order, Panie Dembinski!

This time three years ago:
Topiary garden by the Vistula

This time four years ago:
Raymond's Treasure - a short story


Joy said...

So sorry for your loss! Lila looks like such a pretty kitty. All the best, Joy

Bob said...

Sorry to hear - it creates a hole in one's heart to lose a beloved part of the family.