Thursday, December 27, 2012

Meeting the Bar: on the death of my cat

miko

i.

my cat died today
no crickets sang, just
spaded earth

ii.

my finger traces lines on her leg
left by alligator teeth,
in old age she remembered
how to snuggle.

iii.

her first night out of the woodpile
she slept on my chest, my wife
out of town. She became
a mom to my boys,
checking on them each night.

iv.

her life left
by her mouth~
we mopped up
after

v.

goodbye my friend
see you again ~ hope
they have good food
in the after

vi.

meow.

vii.

nine lives in four states
well traveled cat
now on her way home.

viii.

she didn't write,
she lived---poetry,
then cleaned herself
with her tongue.

ix.

stalking silent at night,
we only heard
when she jumped.

x.

running across pillows
at 4 AM
she wanted out

xi.

lizards on the lanai
screen warmed by Florida sun
her favorite between meal
snack.

xii.

a shoebox holds
an unfilled hole
in my family.

Over at dVerse today, Anna has us writing postmodern poetry again, choosing from a list of writing exercises. One was to view an object or event from several different facets. I chose the death of my cat, two days before Christmas. She was almost 13, so I wrote 12 for her age. Anna will open the doors at 3 pm EST.

104 comments:

Mary said...

one

Mary said...

I am so sorry, Brian. Losing a pet is losing a family member. The last stanza breaks my heart. Peace and love to you.

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Blessings and comfort, my friend.

There is indeed no greater love than the pure love of a furry heart.....

*hugs*

Mimi

ds said...

Oh, such a sad way to end the year; your cat was truly a boon companion. Nothing truly replaces the first one (we lost our first after 23 years, the hole is not shoebox shaped, but the remnants of her favorite toy)...
She is with you still, ultimate protectress.

rosaria williams said...

This is a sad day, for you and your boys. You will miss her, at odd moments sometimes, but she'll be in and out of your lives for a long, long time.

Daniel said...

Sorry. I know how much losing a pet can hurt. Been there and still miss them.

Carrie Burtt said...

Pets are always a part of the family....love the way you captured the essence of Mico in your words....a cat that was loved dearly....what a blessing Brian....I know you will miss her very much! :-(

Betsy Brock said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. Good gosh, there sure have been a lot of pets lost in blog land recently. Buried a cat on my birthday a few years ago. I don't do well loosing pets. I know, I know...I've set myself up for some sorry days! Oh dear!

Your cat had an eventful life...I still remember the alligator story! :) Sweet tribute you wrote here.

Mama Zen said...

I love the way you approached this, but I'm terribly sorry about your cat.

Kelvin S.M. said...

..a rather inventive form here Brian... And i recognized more than one Haiku here... In so many ways i know i can relate to this as i felt how it was to lose one... I missed mine a few years ago and i did a painting of her in memoriam... Your last stanza ripped my heart in brevity and richness in emotions... great write.

Smiles...

SueAnn Lommler said...

Comfort my friend...hugs
SueAnn

Laurie Kolp said...

Oh, I'm sorry about your cat... but love your approach here.

The Empress said...

Oh, it is so sad when a family pet dies. There are no words, just no words, for the space they filled in our lives and hearts.

So sorry, Brian.

Claudia said...

this is so moving...a pet can surely become a family member...the life leaving through her mouth brought me to tears...but love that she lived poetry, cleaned herself with the tongue then..hey...and i'm sure they have good food in the after...smiles

Tara Miller said...

What a sweet memoriam you write here, my love. Made me cry again, especially the part about her snuggling with you. She will be missed a lot....

Tabor said...

Losing this furry family member is always a tough time...especially over the holidays.

Anna Montgomery said...

I too love what you've done and you have my greatest empathy for your loss. I saw a movie recently where a cat narrated, it was also terribly moving. A bit of magic in your experiment for sure!

^.^ said...

Sweet Miko ... Rest in peace ... Meouw, cat.

Hilary said...

I'm so sorry for your family's loss, Brian. I know how much it aches to lose our furry friends. You wrote a beautiful tribute to Miko. Hugs to you.

Leovi said...

Interesting and beautiful. Poor kitty.

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

That is terribly sad!

my heart's love songs said...

i'm so sorry for your loss, Brian! i still dream of snuggling with my cat and he's been gone six years.

your poetry is a wonderful tribute to her.

*hugs*

Susan Daniels said...

Brian--this was masterfully and tenderly done. So sorry for the loss of your kitty friend.

izzy said...

I love how you wrote this and I am sorry for her leaving-

izzy said...

I love how you wrote this and I am sorry for her leaving-

Cloudia said...

Oh, Man; it's so hard to taste mortality by losing our dear little friends! so Sorry


Friendly Aloha from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° >
> < } } ( ° >
> < 3 3 3 ( ' >

Rene Foran said...

they become a part of us
even after death they linger
wanting to be fed

Pat Hatt said...

They sure become a member of the family in every way
Sorry for your lose at your bay
But sounds like a grand life was had
And in the end that is all any of us can ask at our pad

anotherwanderingsoul said...

this is so moving, Brian. such warmth here... truly a blessed furry one, having lived being so loved.
i am sorry you lost your friend.

Gail said...

Rip my heart out and stomp on it! It wouldn't as painful as the emptiness your family and you feel now.

It might help you to know when my grandson almost drowned my mother and his dog showed up to help.

Your cat is still with you.

Katie said...

Losing a pet is always tragic!! This is a great way to remember her though!! :-)

Victoria said...

Sigh...it's so hard to lose a pet when you (like we have) make her/him a part of the family. And right before Christmas. This is so beautifully written--a tribute to Miko.

Gloria said...

really sorry Brian, is really hard lost our pets sigh! what can I say Im so sorry by you, my senior dog died three weeks ago and was so sad still I think I will see him every day.
Hope all of you are OK soon:)

Goofball said...

oh no, I am so sorry for the loss of your cat. That makes me so sad each time....a pet is a dear family member, 12 years with you is a long time.

My comfort to you and T and the boys!

Goofball said...

oh no, I am so sorry for the loss of your cat. That makes me so sad each time....a pet is a dear family member, 12 years with you is a long time.

My comfort to you and T and the boys!

marousia said...

So sad ... spare and rich in vivid imagery

vivinfrance said...

This didn't feel post-modern experimental to me: it felt loving and sad and entirely sane. I love cats, and am truly sorry you lost yours.

otin said...

It's sad when a lifelong pet dies :(

Wolfsrosebud said...

truly... I think you could write a poem about anything... sorry for the loss

Luke Prater said...

Actually for me the most evocative part of this (pertaining to the loss of your cat) was not the end but the beginning (such as it perhaps might be in post(post)modern poetry!) -

my cat died today
no crickets sang, just
spaded earth >> the 'spaded earth' singing is very strong and cuts deep. If it's a song then it's a funeral dirge.

darsden said...

Wonderful tribute to a beloved friend, so sorry for you and the family!

Grace said...

I thought this was presented creatively Brian ~ Though I grieve with your loss, I am touched with your tribute to her life and love for the family ~

FrankandMary said...

So very very sorry.

ayala said...

I am so sorry Brian. They become a part of our family. So sad for you and yours. :(

Sabio Lantz said...

Oooops, sorry for loss.

But twas a fun poem - as expected.
Laughed at you writing about her running across pillows -- that is why I can't have a cat.
Bad enough with the kids kicking me and flopping (we still do a lot of family bed stuff -- co-sleeping is hard to end).

We have a grave area in our backyard for dogs, fish, gerbils and ... maybe me someday.

Great eulogy to your old friend. Hope the kids are doing well.

DJan said...

Oh Brian, I am so sad for you. But you told her story so well I feel I knew her too Go on your way, dear traveler.

pandamoniumcat said...

So sorry for your loss Brian... a beautiful story, and she survived an alligator...what a puss! This brought tears to my eyes, and "meow" just got me. What a beautiful cat he was too.
A lovely tribute.

farawayinthesunshine said...

I wish I could say that the hole she left in your family's heart would fill again soon...but it would not be true...giving you all a big hug...

sage said...

Losing a pet is sad, but you also capture some of the things that made your cat a part of the family

afterhisimage said...

The last thing to go from my first divorce was one of her cats...he was hers, but had become emotionally attached to me..he got so bad, that I couldn't roll over at night without him wanting a half hour of petting..I hated locking him out of the room, but I couldn't get any sleep otherwise...Only cat I know that enjoyed a tail pulling...fingers slipping past the vertebrae..just like Sabio said..Co sleeping is difficult to end.

G-Man said...

They are indeed...Family.
Sorry Son.
Have a Kick Ass New Year...G

Syd said...

Hey man, I am really sorry about Miko. It's really hard to lose such a long-term companion and friend.

Daydreamertoo said...

They are an important part of the family. So sorry for her loss. I'm sure they have good food and great cat nip in the here after too.
So tenderly you wrote for her in this, beautiful. She will know how much she was loved and, always will be.

Margaret said...

I read the first line and almost didn't read it. But I proceeded ahead, with caution... and laughed and sighed and then just sat and thought of my two kitties I have now and the ones I have loved over my lifetime. Yes, one of mine checks on the kids at night... the other insists her spot is on my husband's pillow - and he hates cats (or so he says) and she tempts fate - just like a cat :)

She looks like she was an adorable cat from the photo (an alligator almost got her once?!!) I love putting my nose right into their chest when they are all curled up and warm.. we all love that smell and will run and fight for it... that is all but my husband :)

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

This is beautiful and so feline. I've had cats most of my life and they are all so special.

You've done your friend proud with this!

Cinner said...

Brian, I am so sorry to hear about your cat. The memories will always be there. How are the boys? This melted my heart, our friends are always hard to lose. hug.

Zouxzoux said...

So sorry for your loss, Brian. Your words about her are real and honest and true - what more could she want? I lost my old cat too, on Thanksgiving day.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"Meeting the Bar: on the death of my cat"
"xii.
a shoebox holds
an unfilled hole
in my family."


Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing the beautiful image Of Miko... and I'm so sorry, to read about the loss Of your family member[pet] Miko...
...I'm quite sure that her spirit{?} soared...Good-night Miko!

:(

Polly said...

What a wonderful tribute x

Uneven Stephen said...

How very sad. I'm so sorry for the loss of your furry friend, Brian. I love the haiku nature of the whole thing - even the stanzas with four lines feel haiku-like. I also find the reptile (alligator, lizard) theme interesting. The last stanza hits hard, really drives the point home. An amazing poem and tribute.

Poetry and Icecream said...

So sad Brian. Sorry to hear of your loss. Beautiful poem :(

Valerie said...

Oh Brian, I am so sorry to hear this news. I am teary-eyed myself, knowing the pain of losing a beloved pet. The loss is tremendous, the pain also. I still feel it after several years of living with cats and dogs. Your tribute is wonderful. Don't ever lose it.

Lorraine said...

I can't stop crying, although I know there is a heaven for all of us and our lost pet, my old German Sheppard told me in a dream, but it's so hard to lose a part of the family, I'm so sorry xxx

adeeyoyo said...

Our pets give us such love and loyalty of their own free will. God bless them all. So sorry, Brian.

Poetry and Icecream said...

Hi Brian,
Sorry I didn't know where to post this but I have nominated you for two awards – The Wonderful Team Member Readership Award and the Blog of the Year 2012 Award! Please check out the link provided for more details http://normamartiri.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/awards/.
Congratulations and blessings! Norma

kaykuala said...

So sorry to hear of your cat, Brian! Our daughter Azlin after her Commencement in Sacramento, brought back a Scottish Fold. It stayed with us for 6 years. When it died everyone in the family cried. We really felt for it!

Hank

MorningAJ said...

I lost a cat just before christmas seven years ago. I still miss him. Hugs.

Lolamouse said...

Brian,
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your cat. Pets are indeed family. They give us unconditional love, and it's clear from your poem that you loved her.

Dave King said...

I feel for your cat -- I, too, am remembering how to snuggle in old age -- and for you all. Even so, I can but admire that you have brought such a good thing out of your tragedy. I so hope it will help/has helped.

the walking man said...

If I said anything I would have 97 pet and especially cat lovers at the gate with pitchforks and torches looking for the monster.

Seriously got by a gator?

Rachel Hoyt said...

I take the loss of a pet quite hard. You describe the feeling aptly in the last stanza. Hugs and purrs from me and my kitty...

Tina said...

So sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved pet. Been there many times. Hope your precious boys are doing OK.

I missed the dVerse about this style, but I really like how you applied it.
Tina @ Life is Good
http://kmdlifeisgood.blogspot.com/

Jan Mader said...

I'm so sorry Brian.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Brian I am very sorry. Pets become such an important part of our lives :(

Geraldine said...

How sad to read this. May your kitty have a safe and happy journey to the other side. Their spirits go on, I have no doubts.

Hugs, G

Tigerbrite said...

Pets are part of the family as you describe so well. Mine was the runt of the litter and came to me before his eyes were open because they were afraid he wouldn't make it. He was with me for 14 years and I still dream of him.

Eva Gallant said...

AWWWW...so sorry.

LadyCat said...

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of Miko. Cats are such generous and loving companions. It is such a void when we lose them. Hugs to you and your family.
"Time spent with cats is never wasted" Sigmund Freud

Sheila said...

Losing her life through her mouth... Ugh. Again so sorry. I feel like I know her ....your poems seem to capture her true essence. I think she's playing with my Rocky now.

razzamadazzle said...

I'm so sorry to hear you've lost your dear friend. There's nothing like the love of a cat.

jasmine calyx said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, especially for the boys; it's harder for them to understand.

"in old age she remembered
how to snuggle"

Don't we all.

And oh my word, Stanzas 6 and 10. YES!

Lady In Read said...

a beautiful and moving tribute to your definitely well-loved cat..
sorry for your loss, brian

hedgewitch said...

The last stanza is so evocative--takes me back to my own lost loved pets. But you also celebrated her life, and her 'poetry' which she shared with you and your family. Sad to see her go, but at least she knew your love and the security you provided.

Grandmother said...

Our pets become such a part of the family and are so missed when gone. What a wonderful tribute to your cat.

Jannie Funster said...

You all loved her so much, I can tell. And you're darned tootin' she loved you all too!! and got to travel -- what a life.

What a beautiful series of verses that touched me a lot.

blessings to you and yours. xo

Vicki Lane said...

You captured what a cat is so beautifully. And you captured what the loss is...

Ginny Brannan said...

Oh Brian, this touched my heart. I am a cat owner and lover. Have lost two over the years. Currently own two "indoor" cats and am feeding and taking care of two feral cats outside. Amazing how much affection these little furry creatures give, only wanting a little food and love in return. Am so sorry for your family's loss, my friend. :_(

poeticlicensee said...

Tears...

Bodhirose said...

I remember you mentioning this cat and how she mothered your boys. I'm very sorry for your family's loss, Brian. Much good food and countless fun to be had in the afterlife I'm sure...

Manicddaily said...

Ooh. One of my favorites of yours, Brian - really well done. Your breaking up into stanzas is kind of an extension of enjambment - it works terrifically well - and all the jumps - like a cat - the life leaving through the mouth - cleaning up after - terribly moving -==and the shoe box. Really terrific poem. k.

Cressida de Nova said...

Miko has gone
Her family cries
for her
She will always be
remembered
Her love for them
imprinted
Forever

Fred Rutherford said...

Brian, took me a day to respond here. I 'm still torn up about my cat passing away a few months back and this piece regurgitated some of those suppressed feelings. While the purge is painful it's also pure and wonderful. Love the form you chose for this and it's a fantastic piece. Thanks

John (@bookdreamer) said...

A colleague of mine was more tested by the loss of her cat then that of her mother( one gave more comfort and hugs then the other...)

Barbara Shallue said...

Oh, Brian, I'm so sorry. I've only had one cat in my life but she lived almost 20 years and was a beloved friend. Yours sounds like she was, too. Hugs to all of you!

birchpoet said...

This is a lovely heartfelt piece, Brian. Thanks for sharing. Love the 'meow'. Beautiful tribute. :)

Secret Agent Woman said...

Oh, I'm sorry.

Slamdunk said...

I am sorry for your loss Brian. We lost our cat a few years ago, and have never had the heart to get another one.

Wander said...

Brian...I am sorry that your family lost a member...

Lyn said...

Heartfelt and stunning..this is meant to be treasured as is Miko..I have one a letter off...Milo..one of those Zen cats...just sits and stares at me...what else?...blessings to all of you..
Cats....

Alice Audrey said...

A fitting tribute. Hugs on her passing.

mrs mediocrity said...

these are all fabulous. yes, a hole. it sounds like you gave her a good, love-filled life.

Sue said...

Sorry your lost your pet, Brian. Sounds like she was a very good friend to all of you.

=)

William Manson said...

awe mate this is sad. like losing a family member, great tribute to part of the family..

Fireblossom said...

Dani told me about your cat. I'm so sorry, Brian. It is a sad truth that our animals friends live much shorter lives than humans do, and saying goodbye is so hard. Again, my heart goes out to you and your family, who have lost a true companion.