My Muse is Gone

by Ed Davis on November 6, 2009

Beautiful soul, wondrous healer, my cat Teaker is gone. And my grief is stronger than I’d thought—but how can you know or possibly prepare for passage . . . from having to losing a being on whom a great deal of your daily equilibrium depends? My loyal friend; my reliable muse, lounging on my lap while I wrote; my teacher; the indisputable queen of my household: Tequila Jane Church-Davis (1990-2009). Her death was beautiful: holy and simple, moving, as she portrayed her usual empathic knowingness.

Beneath the Blanket

Just before alternative veterinarian Dr. Susan Rogers arrived at our house on Tuesday evening, October 27, with her black bag and needles, my wife Viki commented how, in recent days, you could stick your hand beneath the blanket where she’d hidden and Teak no longer clutched your finger. And then she did it!—she weakly grasped the finger of the mama who’d rescued her, a screaming kitten, from the cornfield across the highway in front of our old house on Route 68 just south of Young’s Dairy.

And Teaker didn’t protest when the doctor’s husband Bob gripped her hind leg to find the vein in which to insert the needle, though she always hated for her back legs to be messed with. She knew, oh she knew, in those wise, trusting eyes why we four were gathered around her, on the floor and beside her on the couch, touching her, offering the sweetest words we had to return her great gift of kindness by helping her end her kidney-diseased life.

The Empath

As we watched the sodium pentathol take effect, I recalled how, after a few years, we became aware of Teak’s healing powers. Whenever Viki and I became excited and raised our voices as we discussed issues or people that were disturbing us, Teak would rise from whatever lap she was lying on, probably mine, and begin her circuit. We’d become gradually aware our therapist was on duty, quietly circling from my wife’s side, then to mine, beseeching us with her grave stare to relax, calm down, quit being so negative. Chill out, she seemed to say, stress the spiritual. And usually we did.

Brave Companion of the Road

As Dr. Rogers, Bob, Viki and I held and stroked her, those wide golden eyes became even more distant than they’d been the past twenty-four hours, and her tongue emerged as if to lick that last dollop of baby food (about all she would eat in her last days) off my finger. A tiny gasp or two and she was gone, my beloved, my best friend (besides my wife); my conscience, my task-master and demanding house-mate who shared with her three family members every intimacy—nothing held back from our adopted orphan, brave companion of the road for nearly two decades. I’m so grateful her end was peaceful, not traumatic; that her brother Livingston, watching from above on the back of the couch, didn’t grow alarmed as his sister relaxed, released and, as Dr. Rogers gently coaxed, looked for the white light.

God bless you forever, Teaker Jane, light of my life.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jeanne November 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I'm so sorry about the loss of your dear friend. I went through the same thing with my dog, Esme, a few years back, so I understand.

Although time does make such events less present, I've come to the conclusion that there are some things you never really get over. We go through life accumulating scars, becoming more and more like old warriors who forever flinch at sudden, loud noises.

Nice place you've get here — thanks for inviting me over!

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