Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone . . . .
Bugs has lost his voice. Before Fangie’s death, he had pipes on him worthy of the Metropolitan Opera. After, he has been mostly silent – except when uttering a reedy, rusty, pitiful whimpering.
Bugs comforting himself on Fangie’s old goatskin.
I didn’t want to drag Bugs to the vet and add to the stress of the Barney introduction, but in the dark hours of last Thursday night I let myself get scared to death. I became convinced Bugs had caught what killed Fang. He had only seconds to live.
Believing this, I had a visitation of one of those heart-stopping moments I’ve come to recognize, in which time stands still. Life penetrates like a glass-shard. I am impaled by terror and grief.
I’ve come to value such moments. I say to myself: Take this in. It’s real. It’ll soon pass. Let this moment transfix you. There is nothing else but right now.
So, I said to myself, looking at Bugs, stroking him – I said, take in Bugs. Take in his beauty. Take in his mystery. This moment will soon pass. You do not want to miss this.
There is stillness in such moments, a sharp clarity.
They come on me now because I know there were so many moments when Fang’s beauty, his mystery, were present – and I was not.
I don’t want love to pass me by like that again.
Bugs looking haggard, half-in-half-out of Barney’s cave in Base Camp.
The moment did pass. And it was a long, anxious wait til dawn. Fortunately our vet knows about Fang and she made room for Bugs late Friday afternoon. In the middle of a violent thunderstorm. Thanks very much, Cod, we needed that extra drama.
Bugs found his voice on the car-ride.
The vet pronounced him in splendid health. She thought he’s simply grieving, which grief is exacerbated by the added stress of Barney’s arrival. She tried some Feliway on him and she thought he eased up a bit. She persuaded me to try a can.
I think she’s right. Judging from one day’s trial, it seems to have helped.
Since Friday, Bugs has spent the night on my bed by my feet. First time he’s done that in living memory. Last night I woke to find both boys asleep there. Is it the cooler weather since the storm? Have the boys begun to chill out together? Both those things? Neither? Whatever. I’m glad.
I have a few snaps for you, pre-Feliway, of Territorial Tournament Round 9,512. After Feliway, we’ve only had Round 9,513 and the boys were easily separated in that one. And Round 9,514, commenced as I’m writing this, ended quickly of its own accord.
Looks like an embrace. Not.
Negotiating between skirmishes. Biggify the picture to enjoy Barney’s adorable chin and black lips.
Bugs ponders his next move. Hard to know what that might be, with your windpipe stiff-armed shut.
But as I said, with the Feliway, the boys might be finding other ways to plumb their inner peace.
Sure seems true for Barney. But then Barney has always been an essentially peaceful soul.
This inner peace. With practice, Grasshopper, it can be yours, too.