Wolfie died on August 1st. He had been sick for several months so it was no surprise, but after living with him for 17 years I felt abruptly cut loose.
The following week I brought his ashes home in a little cardboard box with a label that read, “This is Wolfie. The companion of Estyn Hulbert.” — which I find strangely compelling. Tightly fitted inside was another box, this one made of something solid and mahogany-colored with a beveled edge at the top.
I had thought I would bury his ashes right away, but the box is still sitting on my studio desk and I can’t bring myself to spread his remains in the damp fall earth. Maybe I’ll wait until spring, when the dampness promises warmth and growth instead of dark days and freezing. Wolfie spent his final years being an old grump of a feline, so I think I’ll plant a crabapple tree over him, in honor of his crabbyness.
The household feels lopsided without him but Annabelle, Maxie, Noola and I are slowly adjusting. Extra love. Extra kindness. For all of us.