Friday, 10 January 2014

An Elegy for My Clan

A week ago today, my beloved cat Gizmo died :0( 
For the last six months she battled with feline asthma, and though she rallied after several setbacks, there was literally no breath left. I am thankful that she is no longer in discomfort or pain while struggling to survive - but I am utterly, uttlerly heartbroken.
The week after losing our dog Kye just over two years ago, I wrote a post as a tribute, a celebration, to her - and today I'd like to do the same for Gizmo.
I claimed Giz as a six-month old kitten from a family I knew who'd found her to be too much and were going to put an advert in the Trade It and sell her (when you see the pic in a mo, you'll understand why: she was very, very fluffy and very, very beautiful!). An animal in the Trade It, I ask you?! I couldn't have that - and so began the tale of a cat who should've been named Mischief, for that's what she was. My then-housemate wasn't a cat person and kept putting Giz out when I wasn't there and, feeling that this wasn't fair, I asked my Dad if he would take Giz on - and, of course (for we are animal-people!), he said yes. And so began twelve years of an amusing, loving and giving relationship.

In April 2012, I was having one of my usual lazy mornings in bed: propped-up on pillows, reading a good book, supping from a lovely cuppa. The morning was made because my little miaow miaow had joined me on the bed, curled up beside my toes...and her back was touching them. Every time I shifted, she moved so that we continued to touch...and the following lines just crept into my mind.

                                                  Cat Clan

     On the bed, we both commune: me duvet-deep on propped-up pillows,

     she purring a syrupy rumble like sweet treacle, treading my legs in a

     kickback to kittenhood, each push-pull of paw a pseudo mother-milk;

     satiated, she tramples down the folds of quilt till settled: she led out long

     at my feet, back paws touching my toes; contact is crucial to her – our –

     wellbeing, a paw-shake of family.  She is wise, this contented little-lioness.

     Sleep stretches her out: tummy tufts soft and deep as a thousand downy owls;

     whiskers recline, twitch her dreams – what mouse, what bird is this she sees?

     Paws busy with pink pads like gum is full of bubble, un-popped as yet but

     soon to be: mog-mischief will strike when the imp-itch is upon her; in play

     she courts contrariness: needs door-open but then open-door is boring.

     Tail twitches once, twice, thrice: agitates then awakens her; she stirs and,

     with a lick and a scratch, is revived – a puss-cat on patrol once again,

     she jumps down and trots across the room with a rub-here and a rub-there,

     surveying, marking her territory. I feel her absence, miss her near me but

     respect her still: she is regal now, intent on matters of cat-state that no simple

     human can disturb or dissuade. The intimacy she allows me time and again is

     humbling, warming. Loving. I reciprocate this call: I too am one of this clan.

(I never did think to take the camera to bed so I could catch a snap of Giz napping next to me, but this is the next best thing: Mr Bear, who stood in for my legs when a tread was needed!)

 I'll love and miss you always, Giz - see you in the big blue sky one day xxx

1 comment:

  1. Aw beautiful post lovely. A special way to celebrate and remember Giz. Thinking of you and know how much this is hurting you. Hugs Zo xx


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