Monday, June 4, 2018


With deep sadness, I had to say goodbye and put down my best feline friend, Bobo, on Friday due to abrupt kidney failure. He was magisterial, fierce, gentle, sweet, and always a great companion. In his younger years, being an indoor/outdoor cat, he would often bring me a rodent as a gift. I didn't always appreciate waking up to a dead mouse in my apartment, but I understood he was acting out his nature. (I even had an ex-girlfriend who placed an ultimatum on me as to whether she or the cat stays due to these episodes. He stayed and she eventually left.) He stopped this activity a few years back, but then suddenly decided to bring me an unprecendented three mice over one evening a couple weeks ago. I now realize this was his last hurrah and gifting to me. Of course, he gave me so much more than I could have ever offered him.
At this moment, the loss has quite an intensity to it as I sit with it. It's not like I haven't experienced the loss of loved ones or relationships. But the unconditional love from a pet is quite unique, as many have expressed. I recently heard someone say grief is love that has no place to go. I would add that it's a love that has no place to go in this existence. The earthly relationship is severed. But through the suffering, I can sense how the love can be transformed beyond the form to an essence that stays. I am enriched by the experience I had with Bobo, which I would not trade in for a moment even in my grief. As Taleb says, “Love without sacrifice is like theft.”
Bobo will be remembered for so much: how he curled around my leg as I meditated, his love for rubbing his face against mine, the times he would follow me around outside, and the way he initially found me more than I went looking for him. He really was unique as far as cats go. He often acted like a dog in some ways. And in others ways, he was very much a descendant of rich feline genes. His dignified appearance and soulful like eyes gave him a regal presence. Even as illness and age crept upon him, he allowed his youthful zeal to give in to a wise solidity that was at times ineffable. We were deeply connected in that ineffability, and I very much look forward to reconnecting with him in the light.
Bobo, 2004 — 2018