Black Cats Tell All Monday,  Cats,  Mondays With Merlin

Merlin The Feline Muse Back From The Grave

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

Merlin The Feline Muse Back From The Grave

Two years ago today we buried Merlin, our feline muse, in the garden. He left such a deep paw print on this blog, it’s as if he never left. Merlin Memorial


Leave it to the wisest, old cat to ascend to the heavens when the wisteria was in bloom. Wisteria is the traditional flower of love, comfort in times of mourning, long life and immortality. It blooming like crazy now; its vines climbing down the driveway, twisting 30 feet up in tree tops and even up on our roof.


Last week I made a flower essence of wisteria and it’s good for humans or pets. More about that another day.

For the past two years, I’ve regularly cataloged Merlin’s mossy memorial mound and adjacent grave of Gris Gris in all four seasons. It’s been a form of meditation and reminder of the transitory nature of life. In recent posts, you can see the transition from drab, winter weary browns to the first signs of life.

Objects like crystals, candles and mementos come and go with the seasons but the original terracotta marker has cracked and Merlin’s name faded. It’s symbolic of change and it remains unclear what I’ll do. I added his name in ink for now. And his healing crystals collar.

Merlin, forever Zen would say:

Why do people
Lavish decorations
On this set of bones
Destined to disappear without a trace?


As of yesterday, the lily of the valley poked its ivory heads above the emerald moss, living proof of resilience. Merlin would approve. He would also agree with letting go. I felt his presence for the first time in awhile and the depth of residual grief surprised me. His loss was enormous but he made it so easy for me. That was before my mother died and now May is forever a death anniversary of my dad, Merlin and Mother’s Day. The intermingling of pet and human grieving is a complicated stew.

All three are the dust of skeletons and in the words of 14th century Zen master Ikkyu: “What is not a dream? Who will not end up as a skeleton? We appear as skeletons covered with skin — male and female. When the breath expires, though, the skin ruptures and there is no more high or low. Underneath the skin of the person we fondle and caress right now is nothing more than a set of bare bones. Think about it — high and low, young and old, male and female, all are the same. Awaken to this one great matter and you will immediately comprehend the meaning of “unborn and undying.”

It’s time to let go, accept change but no one said it would be easy.

Our digital detox continues and that means unplugging as much as humanly possible. I’d recommend listening to Odin. Unplug yourself and get out in nature. Cats know best. Merlin was a huge fan of “hammock time” picnics in the garden, and daily walkabouts right until the end at age 21 years, 5 months and 9 days. I’ve never known any cat with more joie de vivre and a will to live. He was grounded, wise and ethereal all at once. If I ever second guess about going out in nature I ask: what would Merlin do?


merlin cat quote life is short

Rain or shine, have a riotously blooming week. See you soon. Thank you for your continued good wishes.

Love and Merlin-sized purrs,



  • meowmeowmans

    Merlin, you are so right. We have memorials here for all of our beloveds who have passed on. It gives us comfort to remember and know that their spirits live on always.

  • Marv

    I am late. These days I am constantly late. My inner Nellie has been insisting that I NEED to come to your blog, so here I am and the fist thing I see is Merlin! Oh how he is missed. I LOVE your post and I send you many many virtual hugs! And I must agree with Odin-UNPLUG yourself!
    Love you lots and send you hugs

  • Annabelle

    I do know that quote about great love equalling great grief is so true. I can only imagine what it felt like to say goodbye to Merlin after those 21 years. I only had Abby for 8 of her 14 years and she left such a impact on me, still does Layla. It’s 1735 days today since she left this earthly world and I still feel her loss. Her loss changed my world. Simple as that. Forever changed. Whether you want to or not you have to let go, even if you hold on, it’s gone.

  • Teddy and Mom

    We let go, each in our own way I guess. We HAVE to let go physically of course but in our hearts all our lost loved ones live on….it’s part of who we are. Merlin was very wise and Sammy loved him dearly. I feel comfortable remembering and honoring those who have gone before me whether human or animal. It’s like saying “they were here, they left their mark, then left us all the wiser”. I wish you peace in your remembrances however you choose to keep them.

    Hugs, Pam (and Teddy too)

  • Pipo/Angel-Minko/MrJackFreckles

    Oh, what feelings are in this post. And even mine what I thought were sort of v=buried are bubbling up again…
    Merlins memorial stone, reminds me of the four I have out in my yard, too. and some the names are wearing off or even almost gone. The fifth kitty, (Minko), doesn’t have a stone as yet, but he has a winged kitty…and I have yet to think of what to put there for dear MJF.

    So you see we cannot just put our thoughts and feelings out to pasture, they are part of who we are.

    Sending big hugs…

  • Margie

    Dear Layla, You have endured so many losses and are incredibly sensitive. If I may offer another perspective, memorializing loved ones who have passed on is to honor them. It also provides a healthy way of dealing with the loss we feel. You can let go, but pay the homage to them by maintaining and beautfying their graves. It’s our sign to our dear departed. They likewise give us signs, the Wysteria and Lily of the Valley. Never let go, rather accept that losses this big are meant to be memorialized.

  • Skeeter and Izzy

    We love you dear Merlin and hope that you were there to meet my dear little ones when they crossed the bridge. I miss them all, most recently Piglet, Papa and Shadow. This whole year is becoming a death year it seems.
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang = Twig & Peanut & Romeo and the Angels >^..^^..^<~

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