Jason Eaton

Sometimes my arms bend back

Simon Eaton • 1996-2012

Where do you begin trying to express or understand your world, when you lose what is in a very real sense your best friend – the nonjudgemental animal that has been with you at your very best, your absolute worst, and everything in between? I think I’ll let the photos and captions tell the main story, but really I just want to put this post out there into the world, and hope that it somehow helps me come to grips with having to say goodbye to the sweetest creature I have ever met, and tell everyone about him, so that he lives forever in his healthy prime, which is what I really would have preferred to mortality and the ravages of time. I feel so lucky and honored that he chose to imprint on me as strongly as he did, and I don’t think I could have weathered my divorce in 2001 without having Simon there, always purring and letting me know that everyone wasn’t awful, and that he would never leave me. Deciding that it was finally time to let him go yesterday was something that I thought would haunt me forever, but in preparing the photos below, I realized that those last six months were a marked decline in health, weight, and demeanor. It would be a selfish act on my part to keep him around any longer, as he became increasingly more physically uncomfortable and unable to control his bowels these past six months (and he was afraid of being bathed which we had to do, often), but we adapted and tried our best to modify his diet to make things more solid if you catch my drift. At this point I want to specifically thank Lisa, for being so patient and pro-active in changing the cat foods, coming up with ways to keep surfaces clean, and for her amazing unconditional support. She loves cats like I do, and thank god we’re on the same page.

Lisa and I don’t have kids, and I don’t believe in the Afterlife or any mystical bridges, rainbow or otherwise, but I do believe that honoring the memory of a loved one makes them timeless, and so that is what I choose to do. Those of you that spent time with Simon remember how he was, and those that haven’t may be able to get a small view into his unique personality. I feel very happy that he was able to spend his last seven years of “retirement” without having to move to a new apartment, townhouse, or home, without having to fight other cats for food, and without any real ailments that caused him pain. Simon was a gentle cat with a dog-like personality, and he was unique the way he purred and growled simultaneously when eating duck, how he stripped the fur covered mice down to plastic football shapes (as if warning the other toys), and how he was always at my side, without fail.

He’s gone but he will never be forgotten. Nothing can ever fill the space next to me that he occupied. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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©2010 Jason Eaton