I did not want to mention this at first, but, the day before we left for camping my three year old Maine Coon mix, Fenris, dropped dead. I had just finished picking up some things for camping in the early evening when Garrick called and told me he thought Fenris had just dropped dead in the office for no apparent reason. I could not believe it at first. Fenris was so young and healthy. I came home and confirmed for myself what Gar had told me, then took him to my work to meet with a co-worker and take care of his remains. The doctor is certain that Fenris died from a practically undetectable heart problem called cardiomyopathy. I basically cried the whole rest of the day.
The first few days of camping were bittersweet and I was exhausted but the trip was a blessing. I was able to have five days of separation from my work, and being there would have inevitably triggered my sadness. Also, I didn’t have to be home where it happened.
I had such a good time camping. I was very happy to have no phone service most of the time I was there. Mostly, my mind was concerned about when and where the next hike is and when and what the next meal is. This simplified existence along with the omnipresent natural beauty of the place was extremely therapeutic. Nature is magical to me and I find myself entranced by it every day regardless of whether I’m camping or not. I once wrote a paper analyzing the importance that J.R.R. Tolkien placed upon nature in his novels titled, “Nature: The Antithesis of Evil.” I don’t know why I felt compelled to mention that but there it is.
Fenris was a great cat. He was extremely sweet to the dogs and Gar and I. He practically was a dog himself. I got Fenris from a rescue group and they told me he was about a year or two old. It turned out, he was much younger when I got him than anyone thought. About 5 months later, Fenris needed to have surgery on both his hips in order to be able to walk again. The specialist told me that he was likely a year old or a little younger at that time based upon his x-rays. The specialist said that the rescue group probably thought he was older because he was relatively big and that the problem Fenris had is one that Maine Coon cats are prone to. Even knowing what I know now, I would not not change the past and would still have done his surgery.
Ultimately, I am blessed in a lot of ways. I am grateful Garrick was home when Fenris passed and that he did not suffer.