Even great lions must fall

Last weekend I heard Kurt Vonnegut died (click here for NYTimes obit), but that isn’t what this is about. This is about Helmut.

Helmut adopted my family’s Virgina Highlands porch in 1995; he was confirmed by the vet to be about 13 years old at that time. This Sunday, on a different adopted porch (my uncle Gerald’s in Florida) he decided it was time to leave this world. So after a quarter century of rambling, fighting, sleeping, purring, hunting and eating, Helmut has gone on.

Gerald’s other cat knew to pay some respect and left a bird at his head after he died. My mother burned sage to send him on and he was laid to rest next to Critter, Messy, and Sophie under a tree near the pond. I can picture the bassets howling for him and one more animal lost. But, naturally, I’m not sad. Like Vonnegut, he outlasted hope and his life was spent doing what he did best — entertaining and ruling. I’d love to know everything that cat saw in his ramblings: the petty crimes of Atlanta streets, couples in a dogwood spring, sinister wild life of the panhandle, the habits of cows, and his removed observation of human behavior. Surely of all of those, the human behavior bored him the most.

Rest easy Helmut, you lived longer than some of the young of Virginia, you may have seen more of life than thousands dying in war and you exited with style and peace. May we all be so lucky. May all this useless violence end.

4 responses to “Even great lions must fall

  1. What a fitting and beautiful rememberance for that beautiful creature. And thanks for making me cry at 9:00 in the morning.

  2. Thank you for honoring Helmut with your words. Uncle Gerald renamed him “MR MAN” when he moved across the road. Until last year he visited each month and we were all amused that he would walk slowly across the lawn and when he arrived at the pavement he looked both ways, and then ran fast across the road. Maybe his street wisdom is why he survived so many years. I loved that old cat with all my heart, but thanks for putting my loss in perspective. He had a good life… and a long one.

  3. Oh goodness Jules. Helmut will be truly missed. He lived a wonderful and crazy life since he adopted your family’s porch which seems a lifetime ago! Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. I am so sorry to hear about helmet, but I can’t help but think this was just the week for him to leave this world and remind us that lives can be long or they can be cut short, and maybe he is there comforting those whose lives were cut short!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s