It was a year ago this week that one of my most favorite living beings died. Noname (pronounced No-na-me) was a little gray Manx cat who was perhaps my closest companion for 17 years. The connection we had was really special. I can’t say I loved her more than the other sentient beings in my life, but in some ways the love seemed purer, less adulterated.
Anyway as a tribute on this anniversary of her death, I just wanted to re-publish the eulogy I wrote for her shortly after she died. I still miss her.
My dear sweet Nomie –
I want to thank you for being my friend for these last 17 years. You were there for me back when I was a drunk, suicidal mess, through my quest for wholeness, and finally for my journey along the path to enlightenment. You were always there quiet, loyal, never judging and always loving.
When we met you were a wee sickly kitten, more dead than alive. I had no intention of keeping you, but didn’t want you to die. You weren’t given much of a chance, but you fought and you made it. Who could resist a kitten with that much will to live?
Through out our years together, you taught me that love does not need to be big and demonstrative, but is quiet and steady. You were happy to just be near me, just to be my companion. You were my friend and my protector. As the years wore on, you slowed down, as we all do. But, still, you always were near, purring loudly.
About a month ago, you got so sick I thought I was going to lose you. But, you had the will to pull through. It’s as if you stuck around to teach me one last lesson about love. You helped me to see clearly the difference between love and attachment. Love makes you strong and calm – able to face the toughest of circumstances. Attachment makes you a complete wreck. You became my practice. When I was with you, nursing you through your illness, and yesterday helping you die, I tried my best to stay with the mind of love – forgetting for a while my own pain and doing what was best for you. It is a lesson I will never forget.
Good night my sweet friend. May we meet again, whether it is Buddha’s Pure Land, this life or a future life. May the mantras and prayers whispered in your ears and on your behalf ripen in your enlightenment, and may you help others on their own journeys as you have helped me on mine.