Kitty LeFey’s Cosmos: Archetype, A Memorial

Kitty LeFey’s Cosmos: Archetype, A Memorial

One Sunday, I had a particularly lovely visit with Honey.

The next day, I wrote the original version of this blog.

The day after, Honey journeyed through the veil, crossed the rainbow bridge, and passed beyond my sight. Honey is still with me every day. She is forever loved.

In a few days, Tabby’s Place volunteers will gather for our annual memorial honoring the cats we’ve lost in the previous year. We will read the names of Honey, Josie, and many other beloved friends. May we remember that love is never lost, and we are never alone.

* * *

An archetype, in literature, is a recurring idea that has resonated throughout the ages. In Western society, there have always been archetypes that attempt to capture the essence of The Human Experience as we grow and change. In modern times, feminine archetypes have been updated to now include the mother, the maiden, the queen, the huntress, the sage, the mystic, and the lover. Wait, what? Go back a bit. The sage? What about the crone?

Honey once told me that many people are uncomfortable with the image of the aging, greying, stooping, warted, elderly woman. Honey was very, very insistent on this point, as she was with everything in her world, which encompassed the entirety of multiverses. It is very possible that Honey needed a pair of eyeglasses or a better internet browser, because I think she was thinking of hags, and hags aren’t crones, and being a crone, well, it’s a good thing.

Now, being a mere 53 years old and not carrying the weight of Honey’s 16 years, perhaps I am less sage than she was. If you measure us by the amount of squawking we’ve done, Honey was definitely far wiser than I shall ever be. I would suggest that she was and I am becoming archetypal crones, and I mean that in a wonderful, ancient (pun intended) sense.


Unlike my ongoing transition, Honey’s fur never faded to white. Where it was white, it was always so. Where her fur was butterscotch, it was always so. But we saw differences in how our sweet matron carried her ever-lessening weight. We heard it in how her voice changed register and in changes in how she used it. With all of those changes, Honey remained 1,000% majestic and 10,000% as beautiful as ever.

Honey evolved into a paradigm of the little old lady cat, a crone in her own, well-deserved right. She was wise in the ways of Tabby’s Place. She was wise to the ways of the individuals therein as well as how to control each and every human to get exactly what she wanted.

For Honey, on that Sunday, I thought that she was about to enter her November, both in fact and in metaphor. I wrote that she was well into her autumn and resplendent in her seasonal colors. I warned that mentioning winter would earn a swatted hand.

Honey was the briskly refreshing breeze. She was also the warm mug of spiced cider that is sharp and sweet at once. Honey didn’t ask. Honey dictated. Honey didn’t request. Honey expected. Honey was fully entitled to those expectations. Her body was not as it once was. She had mere hours before her.

But, Honey was not only magnificent, she was the archetype of magnificence. And, no, she never told me to tell you that. I never got the chance to tell her what I’d written. Had she not been on the cusp of a year that she would not see, I was already sage enough to know how to avoid getting my hand swatted.

And now, with Harriet in the Executive Suite, I am reminded, on the cusp of the annual memorial service, that she and others are bearing the badge of the crone boldly. Cora, in the lobby, sweetly puts herself forward for attention. She is the gentle grandmother who gives hugs and sweets to smooth the edges of life’s harsh lessons. In Suite J, Copycat is loudly insistent that each visitor is the exact person she has been awaiting for all eternity. Bestowing a kiss upon Steven’s head barely stops her chatter or her dance as she reminds us that life remains zesty even when one is 100,000 years old.

As I watch these beautiful cats age with grace, and I too am growing into the crone archetype, I understand why Honey would swat sometimes and purr or squawk at turns. I sympathize when Harriet hides within her cozy cube or smacks the younger Marcia impatiently.

Yet, Cora’s gentleness reminds me of how to softly guide others through challenges. From Copycat, the lessons learned are to sing and dance daily, and everyone is a preferred partner for a waltz.

One day, in our time, many of us will begin to squawk interchangeably with purrs (Perhaps that has already started for some.). One day, the gold of our years will glitter the way Honey’s did. Like Harriet, we will hide in cozy cubes and, perhaps, also become more impatient. We will hug, as Cora does, with sweetness and somberness in balance. Alongside Copycat, we will sing, and we will dance. It shall all become effortless as we waltz toward the December of our own years.

Until then, the crone will remain both aspirational and inspirational, just as Honey, Harriet, Cora, and Copycat can inspire us daily, demonstrating the great heights to which any being can climb. When I grow old, I want to be like them: forever wise, forever bold, and, as each in her own time, forever loved.

1 thought on “Kitty LeFey’s Cosmos: Archetype, A Memorial

  1. Many wonderful cats have come and gone over the years, but the love never dies. It sings in our hearts forever. I love the memorial tradition, naming the forever loved kitties.

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