Maki was born in April of 2001, presumably by a breeder trying for a pure Chartreux cat. I got her from the local animal shelter, the victim of a marketing problem - she had a small patch of white fur beneath her chin which made her, for show purposes, a sub-standard member of her breed. Whichever breeder created her was obviously angry about this and abused her before abandoning her to be found by one of the no-kill shelters in the area.
It took a very long time for her to get over her distrust of human beings, but she eventually did, and I hope that the remaining 11 years in a life of comfort, love, and satisfaction made up for the first few months of abuse. Maki died peacefully in her favorite cat bed with her toys nearby, no signs of illness or anything. She just stopped and moved along to her next life. As ways to leave this one go, that's not bad at all.
As a Buddhist, I'm thankful to her for teaching that forgiveness is possible even with terrible crimes, and wish her a speedy and fortuitous rebirth. Certainly, the smiles, laughs, and love she helped to create with me and my family should contribute heavily in her favor and karma, even if she did kill a few mice along the way.
I hope to see you again soon, Maki. I'll be on the lookout for a new kitten that seems familiar, likes matzah, and adores catnip.
For the rest of us still in this lifetime, Maki's final lesson reminds us that we never have as much time as we need or want, so spend what you do have loving and being loved. Anything less is wasting a precious, irreplaceable resource.
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