We buried our Siamese mix cat, Elrond, this morning.
He had been missing for about four days, and since we also recently lost our male Siamese, I had been fulminating over the wandering habits of male cats when I took my morning walk. Then, as I passed the old church in front of our house, I spotted his body, lying under a bush, as though sleeping in the sun.
It was so sad to find him there, but I was sorrowfully glad to find out what had happened to him. I'm still worrying over Earendil, our other male cat, Elrond's nephew, who has been missing for two months.
We don't know how Elrond died. He was only four years old, born the same year as my youngest son. He was a large, hefty cat but luxuriantly fit, despite his habit of sleeping most of the day on our bed's patchwork quilt. His ancestry was of the esteemed Castellan line of Front Royal, Virginia, from a long line of friendly and easy-going Siamese-blend cats who have provided many family pets to this area for some time. Elrond's father was a white stray, and as you can see, he inherited his mother's striking blue eyes. I admit, I picked the pugnacious kitten out of the litter for his looks.
Elrond himself was not easy-going, aloof and with a tendency to bite, so we considered giving him away. This was back when we owned seven cats and found the need to downsize (we have since concluded that three cats is the perfect number, and strive to own three whenever possible). So after neutering Elrond, we gave him to a friend, who kept him for a year in an apartment. But when the friend married, he offered to give us Elrond back, and we took him.
To our surprise, we found that a year in solitary confinement had mellowed Elrond considerably. He now had a wonderful tolerance for toddlers pulling his tail, and genially followed the family on walks, keeping baby Joan company (as you can see in this photo above). He was a changed cat, changed for the better, and became not only a delight to the eyes but a real family friend.
So we are very sorrowful to have lost him, although the children have concluded that Joshua wanted to have Elrond with him in heaven, where he joins Gandalf, Sharkey, Mithrandir, the unnamed stillborn baby kitten, and our other good cats. Perhaps Joshua is showing him around the fields of heaven even now, where the streams run with fish that are easy to catch, and where there are always brother cats and laughing children to play rubber-band tug-of-war with.