Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sweet Babs

Babs died on Wednesday. I won't go on and on about how angry I am about this. I'll just say I've been writing down my memories of her, and here are just a few:

She would always sit on the steps by the screen door and cry when she wanted us to come outside and visit with her. She cried so softly and gently. Like little raindrops; her cries were like that.

Rob used to talk all the time about how much Babs depended on him—not for food but “for friendship.” That’s what he’d say. He’d talk about the responsibility he felt to her.

We were always upset that she had scars on her nose, old scratches from another cat. The scars told us that she had been attacked, that she had suffered before we came to know her, before we were around to help her. They were a reminder to us of her vulnerability. An emblem of it. I was always worried about Babs because she seemed too sweet and gentle for this world.

Babs used to be nice and chubby. I used to chuckle at her “mule shape.” She was little, but she sort of bulged at the sides the way a mule does. Or maybe I was actually thinking of a donkey. A little donkey always bulges the way Babby did. I loved her “mule sides,” to see her walking toward me with her mule sides swaying. She was always there to greet me when I came home from work.

And in the morning she was always waiting for me to wake up. She’d be waiting for me on the landing outside the laundry room; she’d be perched on the railing, or she’d be sitting on the little wrought-iron table out there. Our peaceful domestic routine made us happy, gave us security. What happened between us happened every day. And so it gained weight, became important. We came to count on one another.

Yesterday Rob talked about how those comforting routines are the essence of our lives, the most important part. They are the part that we often don’t remark on, that we take for granted. And he said, “And I think they're so important because we take them for granted.” They are the basis, the foundation of life.

Babby was just always there. She followed us around all the time, down the paths, through the flowers and ferns. She waited on the landing for us. She waited on the steps. In spring when we put our onion harvest out to dry in the sun, she was so cute. She kept wrestling the onions and rolling around with them. And I was laughing and taking pictures “of Babs wrasslin’ the onions.” She was so little and gentle that a small onion seemed like a worthy opponent for her. The two were well matched for fighting.

I really can't believe she's gone.