* Later on, when her mind was "going," she became more and more disoriented. She put kitty litter in the cat food bowls. She let the garden go.
One day, she approached a rabid raccoon who had wandered into the basement of her home, thinking it was Jamie, a raccoon she'd saved decades before. That was when we realized my grandmother was the creature who needed saving.
We moved her out of her house. Relatives took her cats. The windowsill was left empty.
* She's gone now.
It's been five years to the day since she died. I would have liked to ask her about the shift that took place in her throughout her life, whether she thinks it was inherent to her nature to love animals, or whether her experiences made her realize animals deserved better. I would have liked to ask her, but I can't.
Just recently I read in an essay on varying conceptions of history by the philosopher R.G. Collingwood that cats learn how to groom themselves because they are taught by the generations before them. He argued for this proving something about historical life, but I don't remember exactly what.