Sunday, November 18, 2012

Courbet - a sad post

During my first year in Boston (1999), I adopted a kitten from friends of my neighbors.  I named him Courbet after the French painter.  He was a fluffy black and white cat who always remained just a little bit feral.  For example, one night he was startled by a noise outside.  He cornered my other cat (Baudelaire) on the top of the refrigerator for 3 days after.  When I moved in with S, Courbet would literally climb the walls.

In 2001, I moved to France to accept a year-long graduate assistantship.  S agreed to watch Baudelaire.  My grandmother took in Courbet.

My grandmother fell in love with Courbet.  I didn't ask to bring him back home when I returned to France. She lived alone and Courbet seemed important to her.  But then, my grandmother got cancer and died shortly after.  While she was sick, my aunt watched Courbet.  She became quite attached to him, I think in part, because of his connection to my grandmother.

I once joked that it was time for me to take him back to Boston.  She said there was no way in hell.  And so, Courbet lived for the past 10 years in Nazareth, Pa with my aunt. He probably lived a much richer life than Baudelaire who has always been confined to our tiny apartments.  To the contrary, Courbet accompanied my aunt every morning when she left the house to go on her morning walks.  He would wait for her in her beautiful garden, sometimes watching butterflies.

My mom just informed me that Courbet passed away this week.  He had a quick cancer and was dying quickly even at the moment they just discovered he was sick.  I'm so grateful to my aunt for caring for Courbet all of these years and for the wonderful little cat-life she provided to him.  It's amazing how we were all touched by that fluffy semi-feral cat.  


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