The family visiting was looking for sanctuary of their own. The dad's father was in the slow process of dying at the senior center down the block. The family had been staying with relatives, but sorely needed healing. Normalcy. Comfort. The kind of comfort that comes on four padded feet and softly dulls your grief as you focus on the gentle meditation of petting the animal that has found your lap.
The funeral was planned, rushed as such planning always is, over Chinese take-out at the dining room table. Variations of Ave Maria made their debut on the piano in the search for the right key. Photos were selected. Shirts ironed.
I came home the evening after the funeral to find the family gathered in the living room, a small white kitten in the lap of the newly-made widow. Yuki snuggled, not a claw in sight, and gave sanctuary. Good girl.