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Posts Tagged ‘In Memory’

R.I.P. Cloudy
January 2008 – February 28, 2018

Where do you begin when someone you love passes away? When you have spent some part of almost every day saying hello, sharing some affection, a meal or two, and sometimes a kiss goodnight?

This being, as you can see, happens to be a cat – a cat to whom I became very attached over the last 10 years. Cloudy belonged to the people next door, as does Pumpkin. He was an indoor/outdoor cat – nicely set up in their garage at night and out during the day. Although he spent plenty of time curled up in his bed during the coldest winter days, he was out and about most days until the two boys were called in for the night.

However, he was on my back porch at one point or another almost every day (yes, it’s true, I do have food here), or greeting me when I pulled in the driveway. In the nice weather when I sat outside reading or drawing, he stretched out on my wicker coffee table, sat on my lap, or lay at my feet. He was snuggly and loved affection. Some nights, when he didn’t hear being called in to the garage, he would sit on the wicker table or at my back door, hoping I might put him inside. On these occasions, I would carry him across the backyard to the sound of loud purring and then know he was safe for the night. I also was fortunate in being able to take care of him and Pumpkin when my neighbors would go on vacation.

Cloudy may not have been “my” cat, but I loved him not one iota less than if he were truly mine. He was pure innocence, a very young soul, with not one mean bone in his body. Quite simply, he was so easy to love.  And that I did.

His life ended unexpectedly and far too young. I see him each time I look out the door, those wide eyes just waiting for recognition, hoping for a loving touch. I see him basking in the sunlight in front of a neighbor’s garage, and looking up when he’d be hugging my back door in the cold. I suspect I’ll be seeing him for quite some time, until he finally curls up in my heart.

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
– Anatole France

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In Memory of Kathy  –  1/31/1942 – 2/2/2012

While you were dying,
my wings were open.
the empty breeze whistled through,
an exhalation of sorrow,
and I, half frozen,
watched the clouds, the rain, the moon
go by for days.
They took no notice of me
hovering in place.

I fed the cats and swept the stairs
Got the mail, ran laundry through
Got dishes washed, paid the bills
Answered e-mails, watched TV,
All while you were dying.

Though miles away
I held you close and we
laughed at life
in all its beauty and contrariness.
Why should now be different?
I watched your angels
light the way,
knowing
their wings would soon enfold you.
I held my breath
while you were gently dying.

And then …

A light within the light.
Unanticipated joy.
You, luminous.
And me,
Wings beating,
Soaring
in love,
remembering,
and remembering,
dear friend,
that you
were never dying.

Jeanne Balsam
February 3, 2012

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