Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Squirrel Died

This is sort of a true story. Mostly. This cat in my poem was the last old cat that I brought here from my old life, where I lost my wife to illness and alcoholism and divorce, and finally death. The cat was part of a pair of sisters we bought at a pet store because they were too cute together and my wife and I feared they would be separated. Annie and me, we tended to do things like that.

It turned out that they never did dote on each other, these sister cats, had no apparent special need for each other at all, not like our boys.

We had done this before with two red tabbie striped males. One was more adventurous than the other and the one more shy obviously needed his brother. His brother tolerated him, was clearly fond of him. But he also took risks, and one day he didn't return home. His shy brother went a little crazy in grief, changed, became as these needy cats do more difficult to live with. I am sure he didn't remember his brother after a while, but some of his grief behavior stuck with him, became frozen and in this way he never got over losing his brother.

When my last old cat, the one in this poem, lost her sister who died of illness quite young, I didn't notice any overt grief behavior. But what happened to her, when I moved here, she objected big time to losing her old house. That's what turned her. She was a place cat. She had established herself there and she didn't really like it here. She let me know. Over time she adjusted to the garage but insisted that the house was to be her toilet. I could never let her in for long and I had to keep track. This broke my heart. I wanted her to be an indoor cat but that just didn't work at all.

The Squirrel Died

A squirrel came in
to die in a nest it made
in a bag at the back
under the shelf there
in my garage. I don't know
how long it lived there
before passing but
my cat also lives on pads
I lay down for her
in the garage. There
was no bad sign, not at all.
We are both glad though,
my old cat and me,
that I found it and the smell
is gone. That was bad.

February 16, 2009 2:07 PM


  1. I don't really want to talk about the squirrel. And i find what you say about cats very true, nothing to add. What i do like about this post is; "Annie and me, we tended to do things like that." That makes me yearn. You are so lucky to have had someone in your life, with whom you feel that kind of Oneness.

  2. Thank you Jozien for saying that. There is so much history in long term relationships. It is nice to see them from the outside like that.

  3. Yes, I don't want to talk about the squirrel either. Stinky is stinky.
    I like you and I like your cat friends and I like your respect and affection for your past loves. I like it a lot because it's kinda rare.


  4. I have been tremendously fortunate in my life. I have not had that many lovers but the ones I have had deserved love and respect then and now as far as I know. I gave it as best I could, often not so good. But in the main we treated each other well enough. I have not been in the world where people agonize in their relationships and turn on each other, though I have been put through deep pain more than once.

    I am single now and I miss a relationship of that kind but I also know that if I choose poorly then I risk the disappointment of falling into conflict and discord. I hope that I will one more time experience that delicious fall from singular into plural.

    Peraps I have something special but I have never felt that, just that I genuinely like women and also seem to know them better than many men do. I don't think that special, just the natural consequence of being raised by a strong and intelligent mother who had her own demons. I survived her and now I survive the rest of you. I guess if I do have something special, it is somehow choosing well.

    I do have one regret. There was once a young woman who wanted me and I was oblivious. I was not oblivious because I didn't notice her but because I truly didn't believe I had a chance with the likes of her. To me she was in a class too far above me. I will never forget the moment I realized what a shithead I had been. I was stupid and that was that. I would have ruined her life, probably, me already headed down the drug road. Sometimes I think God protected her from her own yearnings by tricking me into not understanding what was really happening til too late. Nan Roman, wherever you are, I salute you.

  5. I would like to salute a few of my past loves too.....several of them I would like to salute with a boot to the butt :)......ah well.


  6. i was
    twixt the limbs

    taunting cats
    chasing sunbeams
    with furry tail
    in frisky flourish

    on the wind

    under a shelf
    in your

    i was

  7. Ghost!

    An ode to the squirrel. Wow.
    Thank you.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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