To A CatMonday, February 29, 2016
I lost three friends in 2015 and I have more or less accepted it and moved on. I miss my friend Sean Rossiter because we talked about airplanes, beautiful women and architecture. We both had a fondness for the exotic dancers we had met in our past.
I miss Howard Houston because we talked (on Skype as he lived near Austin) or emailed on such esoteric stuff as Julius Caesar or fishing. He taught my Rebecca to fish when we visited him in Texas a few years back. Both of us had attended St. Edward’s High School. I was a boarder and he was a day student.
I miss Mark Budgen because he was a strange English man with whom I traveled on assignment to Peru, Uruguay and Argentina. My godmother/first cousin in Buenos Aires called him Marx because of his leftist views.
I can re-live conversations I had with the three of them in my head and I can hear their voices including Howard’s Texas drawl.
Paradoxically I have not been able to rest and stop grieving the loss of my 18 year-old female cat Plata. She died a couple of months before our final move to Kitsilano. When she was not doing too well I told my 13-year-old granddaughter Lauren that one way or another Plata was going to move with us to the new house. Lauren immediately understood. Plata died in the middle of the night and I placed her in a shoe box. In the morning I brought her to our new house and buried her in our little fern walk. I miss her terribly and when I look at the above picture I am met with complete silence. There is no conversation. Our shared moments were in silence but she did make a strange noise when she was being fed.
I miss walking around the block in the summer with her and my two granddaughters. I miss having her sleep at my feet. I miss her alert eyes. I always kept asking Rosemary, “Can she think? What is she thinking about?”
A friend told me that I can deal with the death of human friends and relatives but not so well with someone who utterly depended on me for her existence. Could that be it?
A Un Gato – Jorge Luís Borges
No son más silenciosos los espejos
ni más furtiva el alba aventurera;
eres, bajo la luna, esa pantera
que nos es dado divisar de lejos.
Por obra indescifrable de un decreto
divino, te buscamos vanamente;
más remoto que el Ganges y el poniente,
tuya es la soledad, tuyo el secreto.
Tu lomo condesciende a la morosa
caricia de mi mano. Has admitido,
desde esa eternidad que ya es olvido,
el amor de la mano recelosa.
En otro tiempo estás. Eres el dueño
de un ámbito cerrado como un sueño.
To A Cat – Jorge Luís Borges
Mirrors are not more silent
nor the creeping dawn more secretive;
in the moonlight, you are that panther
we catch sight of from afar.
By the inexplicable workings of a divine law,
we look for you in vain;
More remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun,
yours is the solitude, yours the secret.
Your haunch allows the lingering
caress of my hand. You have accepted,
since that long forgotten past,
the love of the distrustful hand.
You belong to another time. You are lord
of a place bounded like a dream
|Family with Polilla (left) and Mosca (right).|