March 1, 1998 to February 9, 2015
Two of my favorite authors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller had to make that hard choice Monday to say goodbye to their Maine Coon companion Mozart, who they adopted into their household 11 years ago. He was less than a month shy of his 18th birthday. He came to his vocation, literary cat, later in life, but as Sharon said, “He was a good friend, gentle, and interested in all things, even That Reading Thing, which he had to learn to care about.”
I am sitting here crying as I write this, although I never met the little guy, because I’ve had to make that hard choice myself and I know what a difficult and painful decision it is. I have no patience for those “it was only a …” people. They miss the point so completely. The point is that we make a deliberate choice to include in our lives and in our homes a species of animal different from our own. We accommodate their different needs and adapt our homes to make room for them. We make their welfare and comfort important to us. Even so, it’s not about what we do for them, it’s about what they do for us. Caring for those “it was only a ….” shifts the center of our lives to a place outside of ourselves. It exercises the muscles of our spirits that make us more human and better humans. It enriches us, makes us more thoughtful, more compassionate, more empathetic. That’s what love is about. It doesn’t matter who or what we love. What matters is that we love. Even when loving brings us to that hard and painful decision that it is time to say goodbye, it is still far better to love than not to love.
Mozart was loved, and he will be missed, not just by Sharon and Steve, and Scrabble, Trooper and Sprite, who knew him personally and whose lives he shared, but by those of us who knew him vicariously through Sharon’s blog.