June 16th, 2008
Samy died yesterday. There was blood and snot coming out of her nose and mouth in the morning, before Abby took her to try to find a vet. There were none around on a Sunday, so she was going to go with Tim to take her today. But yesterday evening Tim called me and told me that she had passed away in her sleep. At least she is in a peaceful place now.
She made my home home. What will I do in the silence that will overcome me when I unlock my door to an empty bundle of rooms? I won’t hear her bell ringing because she won’t be running to greet me anymore. I’m sad because she doesn’t need me anymore. She is in some lovely, peaceful place where nothing can disturb her… perhaps a place full of fish, baton manioc and tomatoes as she so loved. What really impressed me with her was how American she was; her personality resembled my own in so many respects. She was particular about what she ate, she took what she wanted, and her spirit was a free one, but I knew that she cared for me. No matter how far she would roam, she would find her way back to my side, content and purring. In the moments that I pushed everyone else away, she would remain, offering me some other kind of comfort. Her life served great purpose, and she lived a good life.
Cameroonians laugh when I tell them that I had a funeraille for my cat. They tell me that I should throw away the cat or even eat it, but not bury it. She isn’t a human being. I have been offered a dozen cats since Samy died, but I always explain to them that if their child died, they would not want to just replace them by having another either.
Marcel, a PCV from the Extreme North who was visiting, and Tim helped to bury her in my backyard. I got one of the neighbor kids that do carpentry to nails some wood scraps together to make a cross. I thought that she would look cold and hard, but it was as if she was breathing still, the way your mind plays tricks when you look at a dead person. She just looked like she was sleeping, all curled up and peaceful. After some moments of silence, we buried her and put the cross in the ground, with her pink collar, bling and bell attached to it. We’ll miss you, Samy.