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Dear Cousin Polly,

Here is a picture of my gorgeous orange tabby, Ennui. In this photo, my young gray tabby kitten, Marcel, is gazing at a computer rendering of my erstwhile Ennui, the great grandaddy of all felines and transcendental ideal of Cat.

Becky and Kriy gave Ennui to me. Kriy had collected him at the back door of the San Francisco Yoga Society, where he had been hanging around and begging for food. Clearly he had been someone's pet because he was litter-box trained, well mannered, and knew just exactly where to bite his owner's nose - right on the end!

He was the absolute love of my life. You should have seen the admiring glances that he got when we were going through the metal detector at the airport the day I flew from San Francisco to Maine. I had to "let that cat out of the bag" and carry him through - airport security requirements.

He was a real alley cat, a heck of a scrapper in the Precita Avenue neighborhood. He was a beaut' and big at 15 pounds. He was my constant companion and best friend when I moved up here to Maine. Together we acclimated and slowly became comfortable with our new environment, not easy during this difficult period.

About two months ago, he left the house for his midnight patrol. I have not seen him since.

Heather and I made a thorough but fruitless search of the neighborhood. Although the development I live in appears rather suburban, in fact there are deep woods directly behind the houses at the top of the hill. Wilderness and nature are all around us. That is why Maine is still so beautiful.

A neighbor told me that one recent morning she saw an enormous bull moose where our street lets out onto the main road. When I first moved here, another neighbor told me to watch out for my kitty- a bald eagle (they nest along the Penobscot River about a thousand yards away) had carried off a neighbor's small dog. You can hear coyotes howling every night. Fisher-martens, a weasel-like animal, are also fierce predators of cats.

I suspect that my beauty fell prey to the wilds of Maine. However, there is a wealthy neighborhood just one development down. Maybe he pulled a "Jeffersons" on me and moved on up to a more de-luxe apartment in the sky!

Taped to the opposite page of this card are seven (my lucky number) strands from his beautiful coat. I just collected these from his little bed. (The new kitties haven't used that bed so I know these strands are from Ennui.) By the way, my big orange guy looks a little worse for the wear, wouldn't you say?

I was wondering if your psychic daughter (my niece! (?)) would do me the favor of using these silken strands to see if she can get a "feeling" about my love. I would particularly like to know how he died (if in fact he did die) and to be comforted that, if that is the case, at least it went quickly and he didn't suffer. However, I am not afraid to face the truth. If she has difficulty, tell her to look upwards at the midnight sky towards the East. Sometimes as I gaze out my back door, I think I see him as a brightly shining star.

By the way, the song you are hearing right now, if you have your speakers on, is "Bring Him Home" from the scene in Les Miserable when Jean Valjean, a good man, is on his deathbed and being called home by his God - apt music for my Ennui.

Thanks and love,


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