She is in doggie heaven now and I know that even from there she is keeping her bossy eyes on me. Perhaps there is even a Kookai or a Lea there for her to tease. Maybe someone groggily wakes up and stumbles down the stairs in unearthly hours of the morning( it would be unearthly, wouldn't it?) to make her her favourite breakfast while she snores, snug in her bad. Who is she giving a telling off to now in her loud firm voice?
My Leela fought death with her spirit and will for a year after the doctors had struggled twenty days to save her life. She came back home with twice the energy she had before she was admitted into hospital. She bossed over me, my friends, the house helps, the gardener, everyone. People she did not like were not allowed in the home I shared with her. She took on the role of guardian of the cats and me , who she viewed as a human who had no idea of how to look after herself , and therefore, she had to do the looking after.
Five times after that she had to go into hospital for various medical problems, and each time she returned, bursting with energy. I had to stop going to visit her in hospital because she would rip apart her drip and begin yelling at me, demanding to be taken home. She would bark orders to the CUPA doctors, cleaners , visitors, everyone. Everyone in CUPA knew her. She was notorious and loved.
The one year that the doctors had given her ended this May, and I thought she had beat all odds. However, I had to be realistic. With cancer, kidney failure and cataract, I was being absurdly optimistic be thinking she had many years ahead. She went down suddenly over the weekend and died on the 7th of June. The pain of not being with her at the moment of death will remain.
I am grateful to have been loved so deeply and unconditionally. I have been looked after and protected. My need for her exceeded her need for me.
Death is just a new beginning and the spirit that is Leela is forever young, happy and full of life. Our sorrow over death is for our suffering thereafter. It is our loneliness we mourn, it’s the blanking out of our life that we fear.
Leela will always be the happy bossy girl she was in my memories and I know that she will always keep her eye out for me from way up. It is only the physical Leela who has gone. My Leela never really left me.
Kipiling.....on his Dog.
I have done mostly what most men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can't forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.
Day after day, the whole day through
Wherever my road inclined --
Four-feet said, "I am coming with you!"
And trotted along behind.
Now I must go by some other round,
Which I shall never find
Somewhere that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.