He was the center of our home in Santa Fe, NM for just over five years. “Little Mr. Personality”, I used to call him. His real name was Beethoven Von Mars. He was petite, vivacious, and lion hearted. If you have a pet or pet’s, you know how much they become a part of your life. They are our constant companions, our confidants, and in some cases, our only friend. They provide us loyalty, love and sanity.
They give us so much.
Beethoven was that and more. He was unusual for a cat. He loved to play fetch (and was really good at it). He loved blue corn chips and cantaloupe. He would work on unlocking a cabinet for hours, upon hours (successful on several occasions). He was a top-notch hunter, putting a dent in our local hummingbirds population, much to my chagrin. He would tell you when he needed something, and if ignored, he would climb on top of the refrigerator and knock things off till you came around. He was a handful. He was loud. He was everywhere.
Last Thanksgiving Eve, Marilyn and I awoke to the sounds of Beethoven crying out in the night. Stumbling out of bed, flipping on lights, we found Beethoven dragging himself down the hall; his hind quarters lifeless. He was in pain and we were on our way to the pet hospital.
Beethoven left us that night. Quickly and quietly.
The days that followed were difficult beyond belief. I was hauntingly aware of how much he had filled the space around me. There would be no more playing fetch, no late night snack demands, no more cabinet work…no more of his loving presence. The loss of someone you love is one of the most painful lessons that life can gift you.
Beethoven was such a gift and he taught me this: show up fully in everything you do. It’s not about how much you have or know, but rather, how much you give. Beethoven gave himself to us…completely.
I am thankful, every day and night, for all I experience in my life: my family, my friends, the blue sky, the stars at night, little Mr. Beethoven . They are all gifts to me.
Peace to you this Thanksgiving.