RIP dear Pompous, how you brought joy and laughter to so many lives. You are missed!
Pompous had not been seen for a couple of days when I got worried. I offered the kids a pack of noodles to whomever brings him to me. Usually I can get one of them to produce the feline with just a piece of candy, or marble or even a sticker. When no one could find him (in exchange for noodles!), I knew he probably was dead. There is no way that he would have chosen to go even a day without being tossed about by one of the kids.
Well when a week passed, I continued to ask if anyone had seen him…even though my glimmer of hope was pretty much faded. Three of the little girls came to me and said they saw Pompous and he was sleeping. When I asked “Where?” they pointed off the property. Not knowing the Khmer word for dead, I mimicked “Is he sleeping?” (hands together, cheek resting on them with my eyes closed). And they said “yes!” but then I said, “Wait is he sleeping or is he dead?” (eyes rolled back head cocked and tongue hanging out. That got few giggles but they said, “No Melinda, Pompous sleeping).
It was time for lunch so they couldn’t show him to me and I didn’t remember the conversation until later and I asked Kate the word for dead and we asked them again, “Is Pompous ngoab?”and they said together “Yes”. I had known it was true all along I guess, but hearing it from the children made it finally hit home. I guess he didn't look like the way I described death... The one thing I realize is that death is much more accepted here; especially with animals. It’s more of a matter of fact circumstance. Such that death is perfectly normal; which in reality, it is. Every living being on this earth will die. Although some certainly sooner than others; some certainly way too soon.
His previous life must have been great for him to have found such a loved life at Wat Opot. Pompous gave such joy to everyone in the short time he was alive - changed a few hardened (I don’t like cats) hearts - that I am sure he has been reborn into an even more appreciated life! If he's still a cat, I hope he is in Texas in the home of Polly, Ed, or Dar and Martin!
Photo’s taken the first day he arrived on my doorstep and one of the last photo’s I have of him - both with the animal lover Mr. Wey.