|Peanut has bid this world adieu|
Ode on the death of a favorite cat
Twas on a lofty vase’s side, Where China’s gayest art had dyed The azure flowers that blow; Demurest of the tabby kind, The pensive Selima, reclined, Gazed on the lake below. Her conscious tail her joy declared; The fair round face, the snowy beard, The velvet of her paws, Her coat, that with the tortoise vies, Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes, She saw; and purred applause. Still had she gazed; but ‘midst the tide Two angel forms were seen to glide, The genii of the stream: Their scaly armor’s Tyrian hue Through richest purple to the view Betrayed a golden gleam. The hapless nymph with wonder saw: A whisker first and then a claw, With many an ardent wish, She stretched in vain to reach the prize. What female heart can gold despise? What cat’s averse to fish? Presumptuous maid! with looks intent Again she stretched, again she bent, Nor knew the gulf between. (Malignant Fate sat by and smiled) The slippery verge her feet beguiled, She tumbled headlong in. Eight times emerging from the flood She mewed to every watery god, Some speedy aid to send. No dolphin came, no Nereid stirred; Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard; A favorite has no friend! From hence, ye beauties, undeceived, Know, one false step is ne’er retrieved, And be with caution bold. Not all that tempts your wandering eyes And heedless hearts, is lawful prize; Nor all that glisters, gold.
I thought it only fair to bridge the gulf between us and let my dear readers know that I'm still kicking in Southern Illinois and Peanut the Grand-Cat in Florida is no more. She gave us much love, was a source of joy and laughter, and comforted us in times of sadness and loss. Her illness came on quite suddenly (shallow breathing, loss of appetite) and occurred right after being boarded at an animal hospital in Tallahassee where she had received regular exams, vaccines, and previous boarding. Of course, we suspected some sort of nosocomial infection, but the vet told Daughter that x-rays showed a mass near her heart and lungs filled with fluid. The vet was fairly certain that the tumor had been present for a while, slowly compromising her health, and that the stress of being away from home and family was the proverbial nail in the coffin for Peanut.
A nasty thing, STRESS is. Just look at the word--a serpent that swallows up serendipity and slithers across our serenity. It robs us of life's pleasure and enjoyment and ultimately of life itself. It must be a close cousin to Malignant Fate, and I hope they both soon drown in the Lake of Fire.