Friday, August 15, 2014


It’s in the silences that it hurts you the most. When you open the front door and no one scampers or waddles down the hallway to say hello, glad you are home, can you put some fresh water and ice in my bowl, please? Food would be okay.

A long drink of ice water was one of Tupelo's last pleasures on this plane. 

That was Monday. Now it is Wednesday, a rainy, rainy Wednesday. I woke up to Cooder fur in my face and that incomparable purr softly massaging my brain. Even Emmylou was curled up at my feet, although I think that was a sweet Greenies hangover as I had inadvertently left off the lid of the jar I keep them in. I think she and Cooder just fed like vampires while I was deep in REM. 

On another similar note, a few nights ago, I awoke to a gentle crash. Emmylou had pulled down the jar, spilled it, and was hoovering up as many Greenies as she could as fast as she could. I considered letting her graze, but I did not want to risk waking up to regurgitated Greenies.

And now it is Friday. Instead of birds and traffic, there is the enthusiastic, jazzrhythmic chirrrping of crickets, punctuated now and then by the dissonant clink of Emmylou's bird bell. After almost three weeks here, Cooder has joined us in the family room for quite a bit of the day. I do not know what to ascribe Cooder's general sociability, but perhaps with the family and Albert gone (he was loaned out to dog-deprived relatives nearby), she felt she had the safe latitude to re-acquaint herself with the capacious Allview Manor. 

We three did have a most delicious nap, deserved by me as I have not been sleeping all that well and was up and productive at 7:00. Cooder slept contentedly on my heart and solar plexus while Emmylou took the hitherto unknown position between my ankles and shins. It was a cat pile. And I will say that I had a couple of hours of veritable contentment with no immediate wish to be anyone or anywhere else. I felt very lucky to be safe, quiet, and in the company of two excellent feline companions. 

And is this a nigglety-and-higgley-hie ramble. (Jane Austen would not approve.) With the family in absentia, I have been able to clear the floor in my room (no one needs the hallway) to vacuum and to make proper sorting piles. And to that I needs return, after having effected (correct me if that should have been "affected" some slight organizational changes in the kitchen. 

A week of mourning Tupelo and Robin Williams. Although I found many of Robin's film roles objectionable, I did not find his performances so. He was beyond wonderful in The Birdcage. His masculine/feminine appeal was astounding. What a performance. And to all reports and in all first, and second-hand experiences of the man, I cannot say I ever heard a negative word about him. I knew his pain, having been pretty damn close on more than one occasion, and my sorrow is for that searing solitude and torment. No one can be with you there. And although I was not really a fan, I did have a love for Robin Williams.

I always post this William Stafford poem as a tribute to those who have left us. Tupelo, Robin, Lauren, Michael Brown, those caught up in Israel and Gaza, I, for one am thinking of you. 


If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep. 

1 comment:

  1. what a wonderful, loving and caring epilogue to both the animals.
    It is with heavy heart and sadness that we have to make the decision to do the humane act for all the years of love and companionship that these animals gave to both of you for so many years.
    I hope both you and John remember all the good things you were to them and that without you in their lives their years and quality of life may have
    been shortened.
    We all have to go through the mourning of a Parent, friend. family, loved one and if we are lucky and cherished pet.
    My deepest sympathy and know that I think of you in your hours of sadness.
    Melinda and John's Mom