in memoriam

I thought Chaucer had murdered her the other day, but Celia was one tough pinniped. She hung tenaciously on for another couple of weeks, past the point at which a weaker semi-aquatic, fin-footed soul would have given up.

I did what I could for her during those final days, discouraging Chaucer from further tearing what must have been a very painful rip down her tummy, and encouraging him to instead play with one of his less mortally-wounded toys.

But this morning, in the predawn hour, I could only watch helplessly make a YouTube video as the reaper collected his soggy, fluff-filled due (note: for some reason, the video quality is all wonky, and looks like it was filmed underwater - coincidence?? I THINK NOT):


RIP Celia the Seal (2012-2013)

Celia was a beautiful soul. Known to her close friends and family as "Ce", she was a common harbor seal originally hailing from the Hebrides, off the western coast of Scotland. She often barked longingly of her days as a pup, frolicking in the chilly waters of the Northern Atlantic, and fleeing killer whales. Celia loved to swim (Chaucer often dropped her in the bathtub - usually when I was in it), to cook (her specialty was squid stuffed with minced anchovies), and to hide under the bed for days at a time.

A perpetual prankster, Celia often strategically placed herself underfoot in the middle of the night, typically in the pathway between my bed and the bathroom. Many's the time I erupted into delighted laughter as I stumbled over her drool-drenched body, nearly breaking my neck in the dark.

As Celia was a great fan of 19th century American poetry, I thought it would be fitting to do a reading of her favorite Emily Dickinson poem:

Because I could not swim to Death,
He kindly swam to me;
The ocean held but just ourselves
And sea anemones.

We slowly dove, he knew no haste
And I had put away
My blubber and my flippers too,
For his civility.

We passed the pool where sperm whales sprayed,
Their blowholes scarcely dry;
We passed the reefs of coral bright
We passed the islands by.

We paused before a beach that seemed
A desert of the sea;
The coast was scarcely swimmable
The shoreline but a key.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the porpoise' heads
Were toward eternity.  

Celia was a well-loved member of our family, and she will be greatly missed.

In lieu of flowers, please send Glad Tall 13 Gallon Kitchen bags. (She was rather well stuffed, and left a bit of a mess behind.) Thank you for your thoughts during this difficult time.