In Which Ursula Contemplates Death and Feels Oddly Better About Her Own Mortality

So today I was moping and thinking about Loki passing this mortal coil, which of course he’ll do eventually, even if we weather this particular crisis. And I found myself glumly thinking that benevolence is undoubtedly the rarest commodity in nature, and thus it’s probably not terribly likely, if there’s an afterlife, that there is some benevolent being who’s sole job in the universe is to pick up newly departed cats and snuggle ’em.

Then again, if I was running the cosmos, there would be, damnit. A whole legion of ’em.

And I guess that’s at the heart of the whole fear–I’ll miss Loki myself, naturally, but one of my great worries is that when he goes to whatever fate awaits cats, he’ll be scared or lonely or something. And of course we don’t know. I have been spammed the bit about the Rainbow Bridge fifty zillion times, and it’s all wish-fulfillment. And so, unfortunately, are a lot of major religions–the fundamental fact is that nobody knows what happens. Death is that great mystery. Immortality of the soul is something that so many people want so badly that you gotta be automatically suspicious of people selling it–like Piltdown man, it’s so much what we’d like to believe that we gotta be sure to check all the teeth and turn our beady eyes on peddlers of such and go “And you found this where exactly?”

And I thought about Loki, and worried about him, because I will swear up down and sideways that if I have anything like a soul, Loki does as well–anyone who thinks that animals don’t have souls and humans do has not spent enough time with an animal. I may be a lot smarter and possessing opposable thumbs, but we’re still both mammals and take the same pleasure in a good meal and a good snuggle, and I’m pretty sure that on an absolute scale, his tireless sentry duty against the dead leaves is just as important as my attempts to make art–we’re both just doin’ what we think is neccessary. But like they say, we’re all in this together, but we all die alone. And not being able to change that fundamental fact, or even communicate with the cat about it, I worry about Loki, who is dumber than a box of rocks and well-meaning and loves everybody and hates travel. He’s not equipped for scary journeys into the light! He’s barely equipped to journey from the food dish to the litterbox and back!

In a weird, selfish sort of way, though, realizing this fear made me feel strangely better about my own demise, which fear preys on me occasionally. Because that’ll probably be scary and weird and not at all like I’d imagine, but–I am suddenly much more relaxed of my ability to handle it. There’s nothing like worrying about someone’s ineptitude to make you feel competent. Even if I’m scared, I’m at least a sentient being with problem solving skills who does not routinely get stuck behind the TV. Given, I’m a lot more likely to have a horrified great-I’m-dead realization that the cat is unlikely to experience, but as long as there’s no parallel parking component and I am not required to solve quadratic equations without scratch paper, I’ll hopefully be able to handle it.

This is probably the weirdest peace I’ll ever make with the cosmos, and did not stop me from cheering wildly when Loki ate a little canned food this evening, but still, you take what you can get.

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