I took this picture on our last walk on Dartmoor with Ray and MIJ. I had already snapped a few shots of the cross when MIJ stepped into the shot. I took two or three photographs with her back to me wondering if the cross marked a grave or had been placed there as a memorial of some kind. I know now that many of the stone crosses on Dartmoor were placed there as guideposts to let travelers know they were on the right path. It seemed appropriate to use this photograph today.
Ray called this morning. John was out so I took the call knowing before I answered what he was going to say. He told me that MIJ had died about 7:00 this morning and that she seemed peaceful and appeared to be in no pain.
He said that he had just finished writing a poem for her and had turned to open the curtains as it was just beginning to get light. When he turned back, he could see that her breathing had changed so he took her in his arms and held her as she slipped away. That’s the way he said it, ” I took her in my arms and held her, and she just slipped away.”
As much as MIJ loved Ray, I cannot think of anything she would have liked more than to be held by him at the end.
Ray & MIJ on Dartmoor – November 8, 2009
I took the fuzzy picture above from a fair distance through our kitchen window. It’s a view I see at various times of the day as Fudge, the cat in the picture sits waiting for his owner to come home. John says he is only waiting for his next meal, but he is out there at the end of the drive twice a day, just as he always was before his owner died a week before Christmas.
Several neighbors have taken turns feeding him, but when I try to coax him over for a little snack, he runs away. The man’s daughter lives several hours from here and does not know what to do with Fudge. He won’t go with her and he won’t stay put. As far as we can see, he likes to roam. He keeps his distance from people … sometimes even those like me with hand out for comfort and a bit of food to nourish. I keep reaching out, but Fudge cannot bring himself to be comforted or even fed by someone he doesn’t recognize.
I on the other hand, wanted to say how much I appreciate the kindness of all of those who stopped by … even the new names that I do not recognize yet. Your messages of support and encouragement after reading this post were a great comfort to me as I am sure they will be to Ray when I am able to share them with him. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts.
As for Fudge, if you live in Cornwall or close by and would like to take in an independent outdoorsy cat, I can put you in touch with the right person.