Wednesday, August 17, 2016

That Sleepless Summer

of heat and grieving,
it wasn't enough to nurse my mother,

I also had to make sweet to her cat -
a leonine, lacking in all social graces
ragdoll named Annie.

Annie slept with her claws out;
spit, hissed, and scratched
at passing bare feet;

curled atop my mother's chest
and dared my efforts at care.
I hated her,

and she hated me, the intruder.
But as mama faded,
more and more often

I would wake from my rocking chair doze
to find that cat in my lap purring comfort;
she knew, I know, that loss was close.

Close to both of us.
Close as a shallow breath to silence.

For Midweek Motif ~ Cats at Poets United

16 comments:

Gillena Cox said...

Such a sad tale; so sweetly told

much love...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This actually made me cry.....the huge loss, to both you and her beloved cat, whose heart was breaking right along with yours. What happened to her after, Kelli?

Susan said...

LOVE! This is how cats sneak into our hearts. I understand that Dogs seek empathy and give it too, body to body.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Loved this.

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Jae Rose said...

The parting lines are such a powerful ending to a moving poem..animals do have a sense of these things..I am glad in a way that she was there for both of you and gave some comfort in her own way

Sioux said...

Ragdolls are usually sweet-tempered. Perhaps the cat was expressing it's grief at the imminent loss?

I'm sorry for your loss, Kelli.

Old Egg said...

What an outstanding and moving write this is. Really wonderful.

said...

That is a bad-ass cat. When I'm eventually living alone, I'm gonna get one and train her to be just as mean as your momma's Raggedy Ann --- I think the cat represents all the fight Mom had left in her chest. Her soul was not bound to that body, and not even death can kill meanness or cat-scratch feelers. People like her will hover over you forever.

Mary said...

Kelli, this is such a poignant post. I do think cats (and dogs) can feel what is going on. This cat seemed at first very protective of your mom.... But as the poem went on, I see this cat was probably grieving too... Really this tugged at my heart.

Fireblossom said...

That sounds like a typically pragmatic cat.

Susan Anderson said...

A touching story. Shared grief is a great uniter.

Sumana Roy said...

the tender blooming camaraderie could be felt..so intense...

Magaly Guerrero said...

So bittersweet. And so true, too. We find comfort in strange fellows... when the end is near.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Yes, cats will take on a healing role like that. I am amazed, though, that a ragdoll would be so unpleasant the rest of the time. I thought they were usually very sweet-natured.

Nicholas V said...

A beautiful, melancholy and poignant piece, Mama Zen. Had to go back and re-read it...