No, this is not OK.
We just had to let Peachy go, guys.
Every micron of every fiber of every element of my essence is screaming no.
These are the hours when words dissolve to tears and prayers distill to Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Mercy. Mercy.
I believe with every micron that there’s a wideness in God’s mercy that will bring us face to face with Peachy again. We’re talking the moon-faced, full-strength Peachy of health and zest, not the shadow that stole away today.
But in the meantime, I believe there’s something holy in even our NO.
We’re right to howl that this is wrong.
We’re right to bawl that body and soul belong together.
And someday all of this — and all of Peachy — will be put to rights.
I don’t have a ferry between the “already” of hope and the “not yet” of sight.
I don’t have any hope of any words that will make me — much less you — feel better.
But we do have each other. And somehow, once again, we’ll carry on in love.
It’s what Peachy would want. (She’d also want us to banish every other cat — especially those filthy kittens — from Tabby’s Place, forever, in her honor. But, we’ll do what we can.)
Peachy would also want me to share this elegy from one of her most devoted friends, volunteer S.Z. A queen among wordsmiths, only S.Z. could paint such an ode for such a cat, so it’s fitting she have the final word — for now:
“Dear Peachy Lovers,
“It is with great sadness that I tell you of Peachy’s passing. It was not a shock to us; although she had carried on a brave fight for some time against her lymphoma, the combination of her age (she was about 17) and the chemotherapy was just more than her system could handle. We had done everything humanly possible for our favorite apricot Siamese, but she had lost a frightening amount of weight. Worse still, it became obvious that she was no longer comfortable, no matter what she or we tried to do, and at that point we felt we had no choice.
“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Peachy lately, trying to decide how she worked her way so deeply into the hearts of so many people. She was with us for a long time—about 8 years—and I’m sure that’s part of it; you get used to seeing certain cats around the facility. Then, too, there was her extraordinary beauty. I haven’t forgotten the time when a visitor to Tabby’s Place saw Mademoiselle sleeping on a chair and thought she was a life size ceramic figurine because ‘she’s so perfect’. Her china-blue eyes and lovely apricot coat garnered her many compliments over the years, and deservedly so.
“Her good old-fashioned Siamese attitude played into it as well; if Peachy felt that the humans fell short of her exacting standards in any area, it was not a secret! We knew immediately when Mademoiselle was displeased. She was very verbal for most of her time with us, and I know quite a number of Siamese fans love to hear cats ‘talk.’ She was affectionate, too—on her terms, as so many of us wish we could be.
“I’m sure all of these factors contributed to the depth of feeling she inspired, but I don’t think any of them, or even the combination of all of them, is the answer, because I don’t believe there is a definable answer. As an analogy, I can compare our beloved girl to a work of art (an appropriate metaphor if ever there was one). There are works of art around the world that speak without words to many people, and these people do not forget the art that moves them to such a degree. Even in a cat sanctuary among a multitude of memorable felines, Peachy clearly “spoke” to innumerable staff, volunteers, visitors, and online fans, and we know we will not forget her.
“We will miss Peachy very much, even in ways we do not know yet, but it is some comfort to me, at least, to understand that Tabby’s Place was able to keep her for so long, when so many other shelters would not have had the means to do so. For all of the kind words, compliments, donated food, affection, and sponsorships given to Mademoiselle, I thank you with all my heart.”
Photo credits from top: AT, Heather, Jess B, Larry, AT, Heather.