Forever Loved: Unicorn

Forever Loved: Unicorn

I’m sorry, NASA. Forgive us, Planetary Society.

But there is no “path of totality.”

We have this on authority greater than Galileo. Her name was Unicorn.

Her name was Unicorn, and she carried no spear. Yet the narwhal and the rhinoceros would lay down their bayonets at the sight of her perfect face.

Her name was Unicorn, and she was small enough to ride in a child’s backpack. Yet the moon is too tiny to cover her light.

Her name was Unicorn, and we met her on the final page of her book. Yet her legend will be told as long as Tabby’s Place stands.

Her name was Unicorn, and we want you to remember her as long as you live.

The stars had fallen hard on Unicorn. Her records reported hyperthyroidism and old age, but one look at the cat told a sharper story. Her right ear was torn, and her eyes stormed like Venus’s clouds. It had been many moons since Unicorn’s coat was soft.

It seemed as though every green light had been plucked from the sky, a rough and hasty hand grabbing gooseberries until the branches were bare. Unicorn was infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). Unicorn’s left eye resisted treatment, rupturing in the night.

Unicorn was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, the same untreatable, unfathomable, unmerciful cancer that took Tabby himself.

She was just one cinnamon cat. She did not deserve galaxies of grief.

At times like these, we rage, demanding why some seem born to a path of totality. While most of us muddle through inconveniences and incandescence, light and shadow jousting through our stories, a Unicorn seems overdosed with darkness. Hope holds the covers over its head.

A total eclipse, roving across a lifetime.

But there is no path of totality.

Her name was Unicorn, and she was not a hopeless situation.

She was a cat the color of Jupiter, with a red hot heart. She had perfect vision for the dawns that come all day, and a taste for the sweetness that clings to every thorn. She took each hour by the horn, and she took us by surprise.

We should not still be surprised, but we are small. An ill-timed hardball can darken our landscape. A phone call, a lab report, or a grim glance can snuff our light.

But her name was Unicorn, and she would not be eclipsed.

She would not close her good eye, not when angels in hoodies stood in line to gaze upon her. She would not turn rough inside, not when forehead-kisses knit her soul a sweater. She would not close her book, not even on the last paragraph of the last page. Love was writing in permanent light.

Life’s final sentence can outshine a thousand pages of pain.

Her name was Unicorn, and she was here for her big story.

All who live loved Unicorn (including roommate Batty, pictured here).

When you held Unicorn, time stopped. Her small body rippled with megatons of light. Joy spilled out of her purr box, and her princess paws, and her war-torn ear.

She compressed centuries of bliss into these final weeks. She loved her own tale as though every line had been light.

If you asked Unicorn, she might have said that, actually, there is a path of totality.

It is not darkness and eclipse.

It is the rebel persistence of hope.

It is the courage of an open heart.

It is the hypothesis that is always confirmed, even if you have to wait until the last day of class: love is real. The light outshines the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.

Tabby’s Place is always worth the wait.

No one is a hopeless situation.

Her name was Unicorn, and she will be part of us forever.

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