by Mike Stanfill, owner/operator of the Infinite Cat Project
About a month ago a stray cat had a litter of kittens
in the back seat of my car. One of her babies was born with
a prominent red spot on his forehead. I named him Jupiter and
he was instantly my favorite.
He was going grow up to to be the mighty hunter, the cadger
of snacks, the warmer of laps on cold nights, the little
terror at the foot of someone's
But his body failed him and he died today, having lived only
thirty-three yesterdays. All that's left now is to remember
him, which will have to
Goodbye, little cadger, mighty Jupiter, and good hunting
in your field of stars.
In violation of probably too many local laws I laid little
Jupiter to rest in my backyard, beneath the shade of a massive
oak tree I planted
15 years ago.
He sailed off into eternity with a bag of kitty treats close
at hand, just in case he gets hungry along the way. To keep
him warm I wrapped
him in a towel on which his whole family had slept.
There was no eulogy but I quietly asked Mother Earth to take
back her child and to keep him safe as I gently folded her
earthly arms over him.
Deep down inside I think I always wanted to keep Jupiter
as my own. I guess I got my wish.
Strange as it may seem, since I have seven cats in and around
my home, I haven't had to trust a pet to the mercies of the
earth in over 45 years.
I was ten and his name was Speedy. He was a young black cat we raised
from a newborn. I woke up one frosty November morning to find his body
stretched out on the patio as though he'd simply gone to sleep and never
I cried then, too, hoping that he would wake up, shake his
ears clear of loam and slink off into the field for a dinner
of fat mice before
the last spade of dirt was laid into place. It's hard to forget a pet
you bury with your own hands.
Currently I have a pair of twelve-year-old cat siblings,
plus two that are at least seven years old, all pure black.
The oak tree awaits them,
too, as it does us all, but hopefully not for many, many more years.
Thank you one and all for your kind words today and for letting
me to share my grief among friends without seeming like the