As I wrote in my rambling post this morning, our dear little Tuffy is no longer with us, having been hit by a passing vehicle last night. Here’s another poet who lost a loved pet.
JUST A CAT by James Allen
You’ve gone, old pal! No more I’ll hear your deep contented purr, nor will my fingers stoke again your sleek and cosy fur. No more my feet will stumble o’er your friendly arching back– that little trick you played so well when begging for a snack.
Those trustful eyes so deep and wise nor more shall gaze in mine; no more I’ll watch your graceful tread so lordly and benign. No more upon the window sill you’ll sit beside my chair, to read with me the Daily Star and show your wisdom rare.
I found a wisp of fur today where once you laid your head; ‘twas near the spot you loved so well– the bottom of my bed. I miss you, little pal of mine, and heavy is my heart, for in a life of noise and strife you played a kindly part.
Methinks I hear the cynics say, “Aw, shucks, he’s just a cat!” They do not know, these heedless ones, a pet is just like that: perhaps a horse you love to ride, a dog or maybe two; there’s something in that bond that makes a richer man of you.
And so a thought I’d like to plant amid the selfish din: a love of pets and helpless things would make the world akin. To “Timo” then, I pen my ode and hope – if I may dare – that in the Happy Hunting Grounds he’ll find good hunting there.
This is from an old clipping saved by Bob’s Mom. Other notes on the clipping speaks of Canada as “the Dominion of” so it does back a ways. Maybe even a long-lost relative of mine. 🙂
The loss of a small creature can leave a big hole.
Last Sunday our pastor mention at the start of his sermon that just about any verse of the Bible might generate a long and meaningful sermon. Which made me think of the shortest verse, “Jesus wept,” and how much ink has been expended on those two words.
“Why did Jesus weep,” scholars have asked. He knew He was going to raise Lazarus, so why did He join the mourners in their sorrow? Because that’s what He does, writers claim. He joins us in our sorrow.
There’s sorrow in our house today, as our beautiful, lovable kitten, Tuffy, was killed on the road last night. I’ve been weepy all morning, ever since our neighbour texted that they saw him lying there, because I know how much we will miss his lovable ways. I’m thankful for every day we were able to enjoy him.
About eight months old now, he came to us one night last November, a day after the big snowy weekend we’d had. When I let our other cat out early that morning, a little black nose and two black ears poked out of the cat shelter. Fearless and friendly, this small kitten scooted into the house and made himself to home. He’d obviously been someone’s loved pet, but he couldn’t have just wandered half a kilometer down a country road.
His lively antics and cuddle-ability made our COVID-restricted winter so much brighter. The grandchildren enjoyed his fun nature, too, whenever they came to visit. And once the weather turned warmer, he loved being outside. Though I worried about predators and wondered how much “street-smarts” he had, it would have been cruel to keep him in.
“The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” This was Job’s answer, after learning how he’d lost so much, including his ten children. He realized that he’d brought nothing into this world; everything he’d gained in life was a gift for him to enjoy while he was here but he could take nothing with him to the grave. Scripture tells us he never accused God or became bitter about his loss.
People do ask, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” Why COVID, why cancer, why this and why that? We’re so inclined to lament the bad and forget all the good. “Why?” is frequently asked, but no answer comes except that this is life on planet Earth. Life is a rainbow: there’s health and sickness, joy and sorrow, winning and losing, life and death. And we cry because we love.
I could ask why God let Tuffy get hit when he was so precious to us? Why did God allow that vehicle to come down our road? (Our gravel country road gets so little traffic, especially now with the restrictions, and Tuffy seemed wary of noisy vehicles. So I rarely worried about the road being a danger.) Why did God allow that driver to get behind the wheel last night?
I could even go back to, “Why did God allow people to invent motors? Just think how many people have lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents.” What with the climate and running out of oil, etc., surely our world would be a better place if we walked or used horses. But the next time I want to go grocery shopping in town, I want the car.
The only answer I get is to enjoy the life we have, the conveniences we have, and take the risks that go along with it. My own life was saved because modern medicine has come up with an effective cure for leukemia. I could – should – ask, “Why do I have it so good?” or “How did God manage to bring Tuffy into our lives so we could enjoy his unique personality during a season when we most needed him?”
“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” Just think how many sermons and funeral messages have been preached about those few words. And because we know “Jesus wept” together with Mary and Martha about the loss of their brother, we know He sympathizes with us in our sorrows and loss, the huge ones and the little ones. He understands why I’m sad today.
In yesterday’s post I mentioned an old Japanese haiku legend about the haikai master, Saikaku: he supposedly composed 23,500 verses in 24 hours. So I compose an hour’s worth of verses myself. Here are a few “looking out my window” haiku:
in my garden an unwanted rooter pig weed
north wind this morning the scarecrow sheds his flowered shirt for a white pullover
two dozen sparrows cling to the caraganas ornamental visitors
What is so rare as a day in March, when sunshine knocks out stiff winter’s starch when the blanket of snow spills into a trickle and bloggers once faithful to post become fickle? Eschewing my blog I now lounge in the light and – making things worse – have been painting at night.
Spring came to our land last week. In a few days the temp went from -30 to +3. The citizens went from parkas to light jackets. We love the sunny skies and seeing more and more of our lawns appearing!
Looking out the back window yesterday, I noticed a black dot like a stone, lying in the deep snow behind the house and realized that it was the tip of the fence post, buried for months under six feet of snow, now poking through. Two days ago I walked through the back yard, picking the spot where the bank was lowest. It was pretty hard-packed, but where my feet sank in, the snow was knee-deep, so we have a ways to go yet before the back lawn appears.
I’m not sure what’s with me these days, that I’ve abandoned writing and posting for a week. Is this spring fever? The utter abandonment of responsibilities? Too many irons in the fire? But I want to peek in today and say “Hi. Yes, I am alive and reasonably healthy.” To my newest followers, “Thanks for following. I hope you’re finding stuff to read in my archives.”
And I’ve gone from blogging every morning to cleaning house, getting rid of excess stuff, and spending a few hours splashing paint on canvas. Mediocre scenes maybe, but I’m just a beginner. After watching a few demonstrations I tried doing an impressionist style – which didn’t impress friends or hubby – but I think I’ll keep on splashing and dabbing. It looks so easy when I watch the pros do it!
OCD I have: everywhere I turn now, I see something I want to paint! So I reach for a new canvas, then my perfectionism kicks in and I’m afraid to start because I may make a mess of it. I spend too much time looking for a picture I think I could manage, but still have to tell myself often, “It’s okay to make an unrecognizable mess. That’s how you’ll learn.” Do any of you readers have these inner battles that keep you from starting some bold adventure?
Anyway, I hope you’re all enjoying life, in fairly good health, seeing lots of sunshine and blue skies wherever you are.
Terry was measuring off the first strip of wallpaper when he heard the doorbell. He dashed down the stairs to answer. Glancing through the diamond porthole in the door he saw his friend Gavin standing on the step.
“Hi Gav. Sorry you had to wait but I was upstairs. Come on in.”
“Thanks. Just thought I’d see what you’re up to this morning.” Gavin glanced around. “Sasha not home?”
“Nah. We’re getting the nursery ready, got the wallpaper yesterday, so she went shopping for some accessories. Don’t know why the baby needs accessories, but you know how women are. I said I’d make a start at hanging the wallpaper. You maybe can help me– I’ve never done this before.”
“Oh, I don’t know… How fussy is she?”
“I think it should be easy enough to hang. All balloons. Come on up.” Terry led the way to the nursery.
Gavin looked at the wallpaper strip partly unrolled on the floor. “No kidding, all balloons! Are you sure you’re going to be happy with that when it’s on the wall? It’d make me dizzy.”
“Sasha thinks it’s perfect, so who am I to argue? My job is just to slap it on.”
Gavin eyed the repeating shapes with a frown. “Might be tricky to get it cut right.”
“No sweat. Just have to match these half-balloons at the edges.”
He knelt on the floor and rolled out a second strip next to the first, lined up the balloon and was ready to cut when Gavin said, “Wait a minute!”
Terry looked up. “Problem?”
“If you put those strips together that way every side balloon will be mismatched. See here, this balloon will be half red and half blue. I think the idea is to match the colors, not just the balloons. Blue with blue; red with red. Like this.” He took the roll from Terry and demonstrated.
Terry eyed the two strips. “What a waste of paper! This kiddie design stuff costs big time – and I’m sure Junior won’t care. But yeah. Sasha might not be too happy if they don’t match. Good thing you came along.”
With Gavin’s help Terry got the papering done quickly, then the two of them stood back to survey the overall effect. Gavin winced at the brightness of all those balloons.
Terry shrugged. “Wouldn’t have been my pick. But this is what she wanted and I won’t be spending much time in here. Come on, let’s grab a coffee.”
As soon as Sasha returned from her shopping trip Terry led her upstairs. “The job’s all done, sweetheart. Hope you like it.”
Gavin trailed after them, curious to see her reaction.
Sasha walked into the nursery and looked around. They observed that her face didn’t light up with joy as she studied the wallpaper.
“Something wrong,” Terry asked.
“I…uh.. I guess… I never thought… I mean, it looked great in the sample book but I didn’t get the picture of how a whole room would look with this on all four walls. It’s really pretty, but…uh…”
“A bit overwhelming,” Gavin suggested.
“Yeah. A bit.” Maybe we could paint two of the walls something plain.”
Terry huffed. “You mean paint over this new, expensive wallpaper?”
“Or take some of it down? Maybe we could reglue it and hang it… Maybe in the office?”
Gavin decided this would be a good time for him to disappear.
The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning that inspired my little tale is REPEATING SHAPES The image I’ve used is from Pixabay, created by AnnaliseArt