Hello folks. I know only a few of you have kept checking here since I went on hiatus. I think I’m finally ready to come back. And I’m going to change the format up a bit, with regular topics posted on regular dates. Look back in about a week when I’ve got the graphics all updated and stuff. I’m thinking Geek Mondays, TV Tuesdays, YouTube Thursdays… something along those lines. Still muddling it through.
Last year (on Mardi Gras, 2014) I had an unexpected death in my family. My six year old cat named Random, in the prime of life, was gloriously healthy one day and the next he was dead. We’re still not entirely sure what happened. It hit me pretty hard and kind of shut down all my creative processes. Then late last Summer, my 19 year old cat Tasha, who had been in declining health for a while, passed on. I think of 2014 as a bad year for cats in my house.
I’ve still got 2 cats. Corwin, who was Random’s brother, had a really hard time for a while but is great now. Harry, who lives in a sectioned off part of my house, was unaffected.
I wrote a poem about Random the week after he died. It still makes me tear up to read. I want to share it with the world. It’ll help me, and I hope you enjoy reading it.
Today is Fat Tuesday.
Eating jambalaya and king cake.
Laissez le bon temps roulez.
You died today.
It was too quick.
Two days ago, you sat on my lap on the couch.
You stood with a foot on my waist and tapped my back
Wanting to be draped over my shoulder and held.
I can’t catch my breath.
Yesterday, your tummy hurt.
The vet said don’t worry,
Things are looking good,
Here is medicine for pain.
Twelve hours later you were gone.
Running an errand to the store,
I can’t understand how everyone around
Can’t see that you are gone.
There is a cat shaped hole in the middle of me.
Isn’t it obvious to everyone?
Remembering your weight,
I lose track of what I am doing.
I hold back tears in the grocery aisle.
I still smell you everywhere.
On my hands.
On my sweatshirt.
In the whole house,
I can’t smell anything else.
Your musk was unique to you, Muskeegee.
Watching your brother move from spot to spot,
Everywhere you used to sit,
Everywhere you stopped in the last few days,
Sniffing, flehming, wondering where you are.
I wish I could explain.
I no longer have to be careful.
Back door escapes were your specialty alone.
Sniffing the outside air through the crack in the door.
Running around from back to front door if you succeeded.
I want to have to be careful.
I no longer have to crack the tops of windows
in the Spring when the air is warm.
Your knife-claws cut through the screens
If you could get to them. Ruiner.
I want to have to be wary of escapes.
I will no longer hear
the thunderous trumpet of eight furry legs
as the game of Chase was played
Up and down the hall in the early morning.
It is too quiet without you here.
What if I had stayed awake
and not gone to sleep last night.
Would I have been able to save you?
Would you still be with us?
I tried to be a good cat mommy.
You are the only one who came when called.
Answering a high pitched nickname
with your own high pitched mewl in return.
I miss your baby voice.
We named you after the Prince of Amber,
Supporter and helper to his brother,
Chosen by the unicorn
As the best of his siblings.
I didn’t know how true your name was.
You crawled into my purse
With your brother tagging along
And I knew we had to have you both.
You led him into so many adventures.
I miss your bravado.
You are the only one who loved laps,
Disrespecting the personal space
Of anyone who spent any time around you.
Oozing yourself across any pile of limbs.
I miss the way you would put my legs to sleep.
You were the central monstrous cat creature
On our gaming table.
Showing your hind quarters
I miss your disruptions.
You were the baby of the house.
Never cleaning the others
Always being cleaned by them.
And you loved crumbs on a plate.
I miss my baby boy.
I lay down to rest,
after we put you in the ground.
Your brother curled on one side
The other side empty.
I miss my baby boy.
Tomorrow, the two you left behind will notice you are gone.
Two bowls instead of three.
Food left uneaten.
They leave your share in their bowls.
I wish you were still here.
Corwin loves string. Chasing it. Catching it.
You always took it from him with ease,
Understanding that mouths are stronger than feet.
He looks for you around corners and down halls.
I look for you too.
The old lady has lost her napping buddy.
Your brother has lost his best friend.
We have lost the best, sweetest, trusting, loving,
Mischievous giant panther I’ve ever known.
I wish we’d had more time with you.
Your absence was too sudden
It still feels unreal.
I keep looking outside
Irrationally hoping to see you at the door.
Your name was too much like your death.