Two days ago Aura, my eight-year-old white munchkin, began crying over apparently nothing. She wasn’t crying as much as moaning. As I was unpacking the parts to an IKEA kitchen cart, I thought Aura might have interpreted this to mean I was packing my bags for another trip, and was therefore distressed. Later that day she disappeared into the bedroom closet, not coming out to eat or anything. 

That in itself persuaded me to take her to the vet, but I wanted to see if she’d rebound on her own. Last night she was lying inside the closet and moaning again, but more loudly this time. That was the first super-serious “uh-oh.” It was the same sound made by my Siamese cat, Mouse, three or four weeks before he passed from pancreatic cancer.

I decided to take Aura to the vet first thing this morning instead of late last night, figuring they’d just keep her in observation until the vet doc came in around 9 am. She was still moaning just after midnight, but less audibly, more internally.

This morning we found her dead. Rigor mortis had set in heavily, so she’d probably passed around 1 or 2 am. Our hearts are broken, and we’re getting married in three hours. People who say “oh my God” annoy me to no end, but I think I might have said OMG this morning 20 or 25 times. Picking her up was agony — it was like she was suddenly made of plaster. I called a cat crematorium guy — $200 bills for a cremation plus an urn for her ashes, and the urn will even have her name on it.

True story: Another cat-death happened hours before I married my first wife Maggie in October 1987. We came home after a celebration at the now-closed Beaurivage. We found my Himalyan cat Norman lying dead on his back with his mouth open. He had been losing weight and was probably on his way out, we knew, but it was a startle nonetheless. I didn’t regard Norman’s death as an omen then, and I don’t regard Aura’s passing as an omen now. My marriage to Maggie was a dazzling success because of our mutual creation of Jett and Dylan.