Macallan

I see a little Macallan in you.

A certain playfulness and charm, a bemused puzzlement, a need to stretch and shy away, a mix of sugar and salt. This is Macallan I see in you.

Where you are orange, I am white.

Where you are looking down, I am looking up.

When the back door opens we go out.

This is the Macallan I see in you.

In your best days you were the biggest cat; on my lap you stretched from hip to knee. You’re still that big cat in me. And I see that big cat in you.

Fearful of the ceiling fan, was it a danger in the sky? We made up stories of your kittenhood — the Macallan swept up in a hawk’s talons. It explained the fright… to our satisfaction. As often as we pull the chain on that ceiling fan, do we remember Macallan as he was, and as he is now — in you and in me.

Three CatsMacallan was found, so the story goes, in the middle of the highway on Vashon Island. Still a kitten when we brought you home, quarantined you in the bathroom along with Duncan, the Hospice Case, until your fleas were gone and Camille got to know you, batting paws under the bathroom door.

I see a lot of them both in you.

Do you remember playing with the paper bag on the kitchen floor? And becoming scared and running with the bag still over your head and crashing into the wall?

Do you remember how you made us laugh?

When you turned your head a certain way, it was as though you were trying more than ever to figure us out. An unspoken question, hanging in the air.

When you turned your head another way, with light from the window falling across your golden eyes, I saw my mother in you, and was glad you could bring her to my memory in this way.

Macallan, existing everywhere and in all of us, stepped out of possibility and into physical being, in a gentle breathing life we could touch and see and love.

From kittenhood to all grown, from Washington to Indiana, from Casa d’Oro to Mama House, from Gretel (frenemy) to Whidbey (cuddle buddy) we have all known your sweetness and can touch you in countless memories.

I see all of that in you, my friend.

When I look at you, it’s all there, all that was Macallan, all the inquisitive and fearful and kind life that was Macallan.

Your love of the outdoors in the green and the sun, eating the grass, swatting at insects, smelling everything.

Dear precious Macallan.

So frail at the end

when the time had come, with certainty,

and we said our goodbyes

and let your life slip peacefully through our fingers.

Everything we remember of you is now part of who we are becoming. Your life will go on, moments of you scattered with high probability into each living being we greet today.

Macallan and WhidbeyThere is a bit of Macallan in everyone we see.

Macallan.

You are in every part of this experience

as we remember you

and we are glad

that we knew you

in this way.

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5 Responses to “You Are Macallan”

  1. Barbara Erickson says:

    Rest in peace Macallan. I lost my cat Louis about a week ago. His goodbye was plain enough and his body told of his faithful protection of our family from the neighborhood strays. I told him I would miss him, and yes, I will see his spirit reflection everywhere. Thank you for sharing Macallan with me.

  2. Victoria Stein says:

    Such a beautiful and triumphant tribute to a quiet leader!

    Thank you Peter for your wondrous ways with words!

    Remarkable it is to pay attention to the energy flow that is life and the natural world that we are a part of

  3. Tame Bear says:

    Hi Victoria, nice to see you visiting Tame Bear Weblog. And thanks for your kind words about Macallan.

    Perhaps you’ve already guessed: Treesh and I named this cat “Macallan” after our favorite single-malt Scotch! I toast him every time I drink it.

  4. Ray Wizard says:

    Peter,

    Victoria sent me this link. A beautiful tribute to one who had a wonderful impact on your life. I initially had to tolerate 6 cats where I used to live and after a time they quietly drew me in and I learned to appreciate each ones individual uniqueness and independent characteristics. I do miss not having them around.

    Ray

  5. Tame Bear says:

    At one time we had six cats in the house (and one more outside cat) but that was probably a little too much for our small house. One we adopted out, two lived with Treesh’s mom until she needed to move to nursing care. The three oldest cats have died – Macallan was one of those. So we have three now. They are all girl cats and don’t all get along, so they each have staked out their own territory in the house. I think boy cats get along better.

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