Scooter with Anabelle. Laughter with sorrow. Sometimes odd things go together.
We got Scooter the week we moved to County Road 21 four years ago. Everybody got along with Scooter. Before Anabelle came and befriended him, Scooter slept with the pigs. I discovered this one morning out checking on the pigs after a particularly cold night. I shoved at their combined black masses (or minus the M, as you wish) and they grunted to their feet. Younger ones first, and then at last our amazing sow, Oregano. Tucked up in the corner, having recently been kept warm by a few hundred pounds of pig was Scooter.
Scooter napped in cribs of hay, burying himself a foot or so down into the warmness, but his favourite spot, summer or winter, was outside in the fields, sunning himself on Anabelle’s back. Scooter died this weekend. Boy one found him curled up in the sheep’s hay. It was a sad surprise for everyone. We worried about Boy two, Scooter’s most ardent admirer. He was teary, but ok.
The husband and I wondered quietly what to do with a dead cat while winter is very much still with us. Cremation was the only viable choice but I worried whether or not the kids could handle the idea. My first attempt at discussion led to an unexpected sidetrack.
So, I said, Dad and I have been talking about what to do with Scooter.
Oh, we already have it figured out, said Boy one.
Yeah, said Boy two.
Either we can bury Scooter in the pasture outside Anabelle’s stall, said Boy one.
Or, we have another idea, said Boy two, eye’s still glistening.
We can’t really bury Scooter outside Anabelle’s stall, I said. (Or anywhere, I didn’t add) The ground is too frozen. Even digging three inches would take a long time.
That’s ok, said Boy one.
Yeah, said Boy two. We like the other idea better.
So what’s your other plan?
We want to bury Scooter above Anabelle’s stall.
I think I’m missing something. How would we “bury” Scooter in the air over Anabelle’s stall?
Ok, we wouldn’t “bury” her. I don’t know what word you use, said Boy one.
We’re going to make him a casket, said Boy two surprised that I am not getting it.
So you want to put Scooter in a casket and hang the casket from the ceiling of the barn over top of Anabelle’s stall?
Exactly, says Boy one, relieved that I finally get it.
Isn’t it just perfect? says Boy two.
Epilogue: I suggested gently, that although the idea was lovely, the idea of a decaying feline dangling above her and her new calf, might not be well received by Anabelle. Boys had their doubts that I knew what I was talking about, but decided plan B was ok because we could put ashes near Anabelle’s stall.
Scooter. Barn cat. Friend of all creatures. R.I.P. We shall continue to chase the mad black cat off the property in your honor.