Zora Left Us

zoraOur baby girl Zora has left us. Jack took her this afternoon to her last vet appointment, where we ended the dark confusion and debilitating pain advancing years had brought.

Zora didn’t know anyone these last few days; not her veterinarian Beth, not Our Good Chef Kelly, not always Jack and me. We gave her a bowl of milk and a chewy stick, two of her favorite things in the world, before assisting her into the car.

She came to us fourteen years ago when she ran out in front of my car on a busy street near a suburban neighborhood. I got out, looked around for where she might have come from, and then invited her to ride shotgun. We stopped at CVS and got a collar on the way home.

We know she got her mind and her legs back at the Crossing. I’d like to imagine she got the Teak Throne carried by four Maine Coons, but our Zora was a Quaker girl. She would never allow such fuss and pomp.

No, our Earth Mother dog, who snuggled so many foster kittens through the years, would be met halfway through her plodding amble to the other side by a great cloud of witnesses to her loving nature – those whom love couldn’t save, who have been waiting for a chance to show Auntie Zora around.

These would be the kittens Zora helped up the stairs in our bookstore, nudging them with her nose, even lifting them gently with her carefully covered teeth, dropping them on the landing or the lowest branch of the cat tree. The babies she kept warm, nuzzling them through the night.

Sometimes we asked her to nurse one, but more often they commandeered her bed. You knew when a kitten was with Zora for the night; a soft little growl that turned into a gurgle, followed by licking sounds. In the morning, Zora’s tiny puffball would be tucked between her paws, head cradled on her nose or cheek, both snoring softly.

So I know the little guys have been waiting this last week, watching for the time to meet her and return the hospitality. They will lead Zora to the swimming pond, show her the Milkbone Forest, probably try to talk her into playing with them on the Kitty Trampoline. She won’t go in for that. A dignified lady with all four paws on the ground, that’s our Zora.

But she probably will sneak in a round or two of jingle ball golf with les enfants, before trotting off to the nightly Steak Grill in the Dog Park. She always enjoyed being goalie for their soccer games.

Enjoy your retirement, baby girl Zora. You earned it with your sweetness and kind disposition. I wish the world still had you in it, but even if you had to leave us, it was worth it for knowing you, sweetheart.

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10 Comments

Filed under Big Stone Gap, blue funks, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

10 responses to “Zora Left Us

  1. Audrey Metz and Ken Seitz

    What a beautiful eulogy for a Beloved One!

  2. Jeanne Grunert

    A beautiful tribute.

  3. John Kues

    So sorry. Wonderful writing and expressions of love!

  4. Anne Palubicki

    Wendy , what a wonderful tribute to such a sweet and loving girl. I will miss her but I know the pain you and Jack and Burt are feeling. She is running and taking care all the kitties and enjoying a big juicy steak.love you both.

  5. Kerri

    She loved you, and she knew she was loved. We can’t hope for more than that in this world.

  6. Such sweet memories of your dear Zara.

  7. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for your loving care and for all those sweet babies you gave me to play with. You are THE BEST!

  8. Jo

    Tears and I know that sense of loss…

  9. Sally Wiggins

    Dear Zora. Thank you for sharing her beautiful life with all of us. In extreme sadness, from Sally in Portland, OR.

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