Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lift a Spoon of Vanilla Ice Cream with Me Today

The Black Freighter and his midlife bear, 2002.

Sometimes, April isn't the cruelest month. February can be.

It's been a year today, and still I will often reach for vanilla ice cream at the store before I remember with a sting that he's not here for it. We still, and probably always will, see him in a shadowed corner at the edge of vision, or on the other side of a window.

Oolie, shantih, shantih, shantih.

(With apologies to T. S. Eliot who, at least as Old Possum, would probably understand.)


Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Never been anyone like him. Thinking of you guys, and of him, today.

ronnie said...

What Ruth said.

What a magnificent cat. Rarely has one left such a hole.

To this day, I am sure Mojo thinks: "WWTBFD?"

"What would the Black Freighter do?"

When he figures that out, he knows it's the right answer.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Even when it isn't, eh, ronnie? I think I've said of Oolie before that he was often wrong but never in doubt. That was a big part of his charm.

Brian Fies said...

Yeah, I know.

Mike Peterson said...

Funny how a particular personality can get under your skin. Destry was the dumbest, most untrainable, annoying dog I've ever owned, but I miss his friendly face and constant affection, his gentle way with children ... I miss HIM.

Maybe it's the personalities that stand out, rather than the "perfect pets." There's certainly no predicting it, though, is there?

Jessamyn said...

For Oolie.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Mike, that's dead-on. One of our current cats is the epitome of a "perfect pet," and I sometimes feel a little guilty that he doesn't move me more than he does. Oolie, though -- like Kelsey does -- interacted with people and the other animals in ways that were sometimes irritating and always fascinating, enough so that anthropomorphization was impossible to resist.

Jessamyn... perfect! Even his favorite brand! That's not a-morphing, either -- he'd fall on B&J's more eagerly than any other kind.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Brian, I think I just figured out your comment -- forgive me, I'm a little slow these days -- but "Forever, Amber" now strikes a chord in this regard.

Adam said...

Here's to black cats everywhere. Living, and on to the next realm. I'd like to think that Oolie and Larry are sharing a scoop of vanilla, some catnip, or a mouse somewhere.

Love the new look!

Sherwood Harrington said...

... and, of course, I was busy changing the look yet again just as you were commenting, Adam.

The stimulus for changing the layout was the way links to the blog show up on Facebook -- over there, it looked like every one of my posts was about Sir John, so I thought I'd retire him for at least a while.

Oddprofessor said...

It's hard, isn't it? We lost our Little Buddy, the World's Oldest Mini Poodle, last month. I still haven't written about it.

His ashes are waiting for spring to be interred in our garden, under a stone.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Vicki, I am so sorry to hear about Little Buddy. It is such a sadness that they are given such a short span, isn't it? Jessamyn Smyth just today posted a lovely poem in that vein over on her "Gilgablog":

ACCox said...

I had my first bowl of porridge since we lost Willow, I couldn't bear to eat it for a long time because the day she died I left a bit in the bowl for her and she never came back for it, I left the bowl out even after we buried her. I simply could not bring myself to throw away "her" cereal... eventually we loaded the dishwasher that night, but since then I always expect her to pop up and clean my cereal bowls for me..

Sherwood Harrington said...

Amanda! So very nice to see you over here!

Yes, the porridge and the ice cream are similar. It's the little things, isn't it? Maybe especially so for those who go unexpectedly, like Willow, or Oolie, or Gretel -- but, for animals left behind who can't be prepared for the loss, all of them are "unexpected."

Your short account of Willow's cereal bowl is so very, very touching. Thank you.