Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A SAD DAY

Today we came to the end of a long road with Murray, our cat. Despite heroic efforts by a superb veterinary hospital, we simply could not stabilize him so that he could continue to live with us at home. We spent a long time saying goodbye to him, and then left him to be euthanized as humanely as can be accomplished. I wept.

We first got him when he was a kitten so small that he could sit in my hand. I named him after a television star -- Murray the dog in the Paul Rieser Helen Hunt comedy, Mad About You. I taught him to talk [in a manner of speaking], and lavished him with love.

He was a good cat.

7 comments:

Ann said...

We would all wish to be favored with loving relationships....with all living things! And may you be sustained by the many others around you.

NotHobbes said...

Murray was obviously one very very lucky cat to have such wonderful and loving lifelong companionship

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Thank you both. It was very hard saying goodbye.

Eoin said...

I'm very sorry to hear of Murray's passing. Cats can be wonderful companions, especially, it seems, to those who live a life of the mind.

There's an old Irish poem, written in the 8th century by an anonymous monk. It's called "Pangur Ban" (in Irish it means "white walking," in the textile sense of walking) Here it is:

Pangur Ban

I and Pangur Ban my cat,
Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.

Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur's way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

'Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
'Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Thank you so much, Eoin, for that poem. In better days, Murray would climb onto my chest as I lay in bed, and settle himself down with his face inches from mine, staring at me. That, I imagined, is how God feels when we worship him. Then, after a bit, he would stir and ask for food. A prayer, as it were. He could no more understand why we were forced to put him to sleep than we can understand, as Emily Dickenson observed, the strange and bitter fact that we must die in order to see God.

What a pity that I do not believe. The faithful have all the best metaphors!

Eoin said...

I won't question the anonymous poet's religious sincerity, but I'm not sure about his orthodoxy: Legend has it that the poem was found sneaked into the middle of a translation of one of St. Paul's Epistles!

ajrosa said...

Awww Bob!! So sorry to hear of Murray's passing. Just catching up on your posts and came across this one.