Friday, April 27, 2012

for waiwai who loved us

we lined her resting place with sage, lavender and rosemary vines. we covered her body with roses and purple clematis and jasmine and then we wrapped her in Ma's barong. she is beautiful. i made a bouquet of flowers of bearded iris, dogwood, and roses from the garden and placed it on the mound marked with stones. it was 12noon, April 27.

i never thought i'd cry so much over a cat. to think that when we were growing up, i used to burn our cat's whiskers because i wanted to see how it would react (sorry!)...during Waiwai's decline she taught us a lot about hospice and how to be with death and dying. am glad we didn't euthanize her and brought her to the vet so she could disappear from us. there is something beautiful, even if sad, about being with her in her final moments this morning when she was gasping for breath and when she breathed her last. we were able to soothe her and place our hands on her.

when i told family and close friends about her, i realized that she has been part of our community all along, like a trickster even, who was weaving her magic around all of us when she would sit in the middle of our circles, or go to the bedrooms when Katrin and Venus and Frances were with us and she would spend her time with them in bed. how she always greeted everyone and was always trying to get attention. in later days, she didn't seem want to be around people so much but when people were saying goodbye, she would always come down and join in. Frances wrote a poem about her and everyone has been sharing their memories of her. Katrin, who believes in reincarnation, said maybe she is already reborn as a baby in the Philippines:-)

what she taught me is that she is not just a "pet" - an object of affection - but a cat being. and that means a lot!. 

here's frances' poem for Waiwai:

her sweet sharp purr
a melody
the softest paws
pad pad padding
through the kitchen floor
keeping time
to my
heart's beat

scrambling to my feet
i find
all she needs
is some 
to sweeten
this already
oh so sweet

licking the
in her waiwai way
she reminds
to stop

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