I was acquainted with this cat. I was aware of the little things that differentiated him from other cats. He, like all things perhaps, was unique in his own way. Yet, at the same time, he shared many commonalities with the rest of creation. Each passes through in its own special way.
How do I feel about the passing of this particular creature? This cat died as it seems that all things must. In general there is only indifference, the cat has completed his walk through and the parade continues unabated. But this was not a general cat, this was a particular cat. A cat named Pesky. So while the general feeling is indifference, the particular feelings are anything but. I remember him and I feel. I feel something which I am loathe to confine to a single word like grief, loss, or sadness. These seem so wooden and blunt compared to the subtlety of my experience. For I am not overwhelmed by these feelings. Quite the opposite, in fact. I find that I must focus on them to be able to pick them out from the train of thoughts and feelings that comprise "everyday" life.
There are so many things I remember of him; waiting to run out the door, playing chase, butting his head against me, fighting with my hand, and many other small things. I do not find that I wish for the return of these things, though I do recall them with some degree of fondness. But there is also a certain sense of loss accompanying these memories. As I think about this sense of loss, I keep focusing back on the general. He was here, and his presence was unique, but it has passed, as all things must, thereby making room for different things, both in general and in my life in particular. Again, it is in the particular that I feel the loss. He and I shared part of our lives together. His place in my heart and life will be covered and filled with many other things, but nothing will fill that place exactly. This is as it should be.