Don’t even bother reading this

it’s just a missing cat

when you have children, what’s a dumb animal to you?

The value we put on non-humans, minimal

vegetarians mocked, horses sold for meat for dogs

they say people stopped caring about animals long ago

I say they never have much

either way, it’s just a missing cat

not even ‘mine’ in the true sense

a stray, fed twice a day, aware of time better than I

the white triangle of her face as she stares in my eyes

comprehending or cupboard love, who can tell?

I fall for it, as I always will

and I’m glad for that, glad I care even

if it fulfills stereotypes

even if they snicker with their 3 children and say

“look, there’s the vegetarian feeding the stray cats again”

after all, they are dog families, proud of

their $1200 pure bred who shits in my yard

what worth given to a stray, without pedigree?

I didn’t even like her markings I prefer black cats

but that’s the thing about felines

they can worm their way into your heart even

snaggle toothed, one eyed, missing tail

I tried to tame her well enough to neuter

but she always seemed just wild enough

out of reach, spirit animal, now she’s gone

as they lay new tarmac on the road one street over

the persimmon tree fruits a second time this season

as the neighbor finishes his swimming pool and

unseen frogs croak abundant in velvet dusk

I remember her stretched out, a tabby and white rug

sunning herself in my garden where she felt safe

she wasn’t ‘mine’ and so you tell me don’t be

so down about it , it’s only a cat

I notice how now she’s only a cat and not even missing

the assumption left unsaid

she won’t return

memories fading as grass yellows with too much summer heat

I’m tempted to remind you life is life

whether human, toad, stick insect or feral cat

half tame, sangfroid, chameleon, changeling

but you wouldn’t get it

you don’t even recognize sounds you hear at night

whereas for me, I spent a lot of time in the countryside

that part of me I don’t talk about much

thirsts to return

lie in the isle of missing cats among tall grass and poppies

saved from the terrors of the city and people

who say oh its only a missing cat

without looking up from their phones

scrolling conversations they’re not even having

23 Replies to “It’s just a missing cat”

  1. Of late, I’ll take animals over humans any day. I hope the little one returns. And if not, I think she’ll probably survive well on her own, especially if feral. *Big hugs* But, I hope she comes back to visit you from time to time.

  2. We are all god’s creatures , and the human creatures are the strangest of them all … despite a superior intelligence so-called … ?

  3. “How you behave toward cats here below determines your status in Heaven.” – Robert A. Heinlein

    I think that those of us who are particularly attracted to cats have a need to maintain at least that much connection to the wild, for even the most pampered and apparently content house cat still has the occasional feral gleam in its eyes that reminds us both the wild heart is still there.

  4. Exact same way I felt when the wild bunny I named cinnamon went missing. I know it’s a wild bunny. I know I shouldn’t get attached. There’s owls and weasels and disease and territorial other bunnies… they’re gonna go missing sometimes.. but still, I weep in the pale pre-dawn hours for a little sweet bunny I called cinnamon.

  5. Ah but I like that you care so much for animals it’s one of the (million) reasons I think you are great. I know it’s hard esp with bunnies as they have such short lives (not fair) but isn’t it also lovely that you loved them and miss them – I mean it gives meaning to their loss at very least I think or maybe I’m overly sentimental

  6. PERFECT QUOTE how did you find this? !!! Love it. I really adore cats am not a dog person though I respect what they bring to the table. I like the occasional feral gleam (great lines)

  7. I love the line ‘human creatures are strangest of them all’ – brilliant line!

  8. I’ve always appreciated how much you love animals Tre, I think a person who doesn’t care for animals probably isn’t very caring for anything. You have the right kind of heart in my estimate. I think I have felt the same way, that if she is bound for other climbs, so be it, and be well, but I do miss her, it smarts having lost another cat but I know it’s life. Sending you a big hug on this day

  9. I actually agree with you. The fact that even one person loved and misses them DOES add value to their lives. It’s also a reason I think you’re such a beautiful soul. Thank you for being you.

  10. There is a book, The Notebooks Of Lazarus Long, a collection of quotes from Heinlein’s extremely long lived (possibly immortal) character who appears in both major and bit roles in his novels and story of his future history (his alter ego, I think, until we meet Jubal Harshaw, who might also be and alter ego in Stranger In A Strange Land, his late novel much loved by Hippies).

    I enjoy meeting friendly dogs on my walks, but there have been far more cats than dogs that I’ve lived with. I also wished that I could have made some degree of friends with a fox who visited the yard of my former house once in a while, but it knew better than to trust humans – such a beautiful creature and so sharply alert.

  11. I’ve always thought if one person remembers us after we are gone, it is enough. I try to remember animals and people – long afterward, because they have impacted me and meant something to me (and the world). I like the idea of your bunny being in the grand scheme, just a rabbit, but so much more than ‘just’ a rabbit.

  12. Here is my poem on behalf of the other creatures of our planet …

    “People Ain’t No Good”

    We don’t need human’s
    Look at us, standing tall and proud
    Why do you pollute our sky?
    Why do you stain our land?

    Hiding under sacred hoods
    People ain’t no good

    We don’t need human’s
    Look at us. walk and fly
    Why do you catch and cage us?
    Why do you shot us and make our babies cry?

    Hiding under sacred hoods
    People ain’t no good

    We don’t need human’s
    Look at us, swim and dive
    We don’t need human’s
    Look at us, eye to eye, and don’t lie
    Why do you poison our earth’s waters?
    Why are you committing suicide?

    Hiding under sacred hoods
    People ain’t no good

  13. I have read Stranger In A Strange Land, but not The Notebooks Of Lazarus Long, I must read that. You are a library in your own right, of all the best things, how you remember so much is outstanding. I need to be friends with a fox.

  14. Late in his life, Heinlein wrote two other novels that I think grew out of the experiences that led to Stranger, Time Enough For Love sort of carried on from Stranger, and JB was his retelling of the Job story. Something happened to him hanging out with the Hippies of Santa Cruz in the 70s. Since that was also when Gregory Bateson was teaching at UCSC there, I would expect that they met.

    In the memory area, it helps to have people who find or stumble upon questions and observations that get me reviewing things and digging them up.

    Some years ago, a fur farm in Russia that was raising Arctic Foxes for fur (ugh!) tried to breed a more docile line of them. They did develop foxes that were more docile and friendly, but they were mostly useless for fur. They began showing the kind of variety of features we see in dogs – floppy ears, curly tails, multi-colored coats, and more. They did make pretty good pets, and, like dogs, also stayed more puppy-like and playful.

  15. I need an arctic fox then … used to think about having a rescue farm but realized having grown up half in the city half on a farm how much work it would be not sure I can do that now, but so admire those who do. Agreed, people seem less curious nowadays, if people actually ARE interested it’s such a boon but rarer than before. People talk of themeslves, and listen less. I must read more about that era as I rather cherish the 70’s freedoms and wish i were born in a different era, although TX is going back to that era with our draconian sentences on women, prison records, reproductive rights, guns for everyone. Sigh.

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