In November 1864, Abraham Lincoln sent Mrs. Bixby of Massachusetts a somber note over the loss of her five sons, all reported to have died fighting to preserve the Republic. As a parent who knew the loss of a child, Lincoln struggled with the grim letter—five sons…lost in battle!—and the missive, considered one of his better pieces of writing, inspired Spielberg’s 1998 war epic, Saving Private Ryan. In truth, two of Mrs. Bixby’s sons survived the war, others were considered “too fond of drink”, she herself kept a “house of ill-fame” and was reported by her own granddaughter to be a Southern sympathizer “indignant” upon receipt of Lincoln's letter. With the benefit a CNN fact check, Lincoln may have penned a different note, but even traitorous tramps feel the hurt when they lose a little drunkard. And so we grieve.
Wednesday afternoon, our favorite vet texted the sharp news “ABC passed.” ABC, our unnamed abused cat, initially responded to treatment but took a downturn late Tuesday and passed quietly the next day in comfort. At the vet more than Mama Bixby’s little ones found themselves at the bar, we offered compassion and respect to ABC each time we visited. Touch his shattered hips and you’d know his bite, but that furry tough leaned into an ear smoosh like the cat in your lap—“So good…don’t stop!” It’s been a week of hard losses—two little ones from the rooftop rescue, two other kittens with issues, a colony cat to car trauma—and we apologize to those emotionally and financially invested in ABC for the late post. We’ve got character flaws that make that Bixby hussy seem saintly, but we do not and will not take any loss or support for the forgotten for granted. ABC.