Knitting and the death of my sixteen year companion, Tara the cat,
are the subjects of my discourse here.
Tara always had an opinion about just about anything. From a cat's
point of view, of course, and she was not loathe to express this opinion
vocally, sometimes very vocally. Tara was a world class complainer,
telling me where to get off at on many, many occasions. Not perfect,
she was picky about her food, she was very affectionate, a loving companion
and I miss her very much. Here's a poem I wrote in 1987 about cats and
I dedicate it on this occasion to Tara.
What a particular miracle is a cat,
Wrapped in particolour,
Softer than milkweed down and warm,
Resonant with purring hallelujahs.
What a moving miracle is a cat,
Claw-pawed or kneading softly,
Kitten shadow wrestling or ice-eyed hunter, Walking the fence between
the wood and the tended corn.
What a sleeping miracle is a cat,
Belly up, paws half staff,
Eyes serenely closed
Breathing careless breaths - but step near and in a flickering,
Alert in readiness to fight, to flee.
What a loving miracle is a cat,
Leaning towards affection,
As to a source of sustenance,
Dearer than milk,
As if lacking it were death
And drawing out in response
A human love forgetting gulf of species
Head to head the minds respond
Each to its nature and together.
© Sonia Brock 1987
Fur is so comforting. Cat plumpness (because they like to eat) is wrapped
in warm fur and purrs. It's a comforting thing to have a cat beside
you, interested in whatever you are doing - from its own point of view.
To have something to care for is important. It is important
to think not just about yourself but about another living being who
relies on you for everything: sustenance , shelter, love and
brushings. The w-h-o-l-e nine yards. Rest in peace Tara diddle, Tara
The same week that Tara passed on to her reward, my sister and I went
down to the Humane Society where I picked out a lovely, lovely cat.
She's a tortoiseshell mix with a wonderful temperament and she's a 'talker'.
My new cat, and I are bonding very nicely. I still miss Tara but Smokey
is filling that cat-sized hole in my life.
My new cat Smokey is a 6 year old Tortoiseshell, very muscular and
friendly. (She just climbed up on me and gave me a back of the neck
massage while I was watching TV).My sister thinks Smokey has some Siamese
in her because she's got a skinny tail, the squeaky hinge voice and
she's very smart. Smokey got out the front door onto the patio and went
walkabout, in the rain, for some time. She was back, however, in time
for lunch which shows that she knows where she lives already . Hunger
is a strong draw.
My comfort during this time of stress has been knitting, rediscovered
after a longish absence. I now have 4, even 5 knitting projects on the
go. I'm knitting dishcloths with knit and purl designs of small beasties
on them. The one I'm working on right now has a centre design in the
shape of a cat and there's one on the workbench with a knit and purl
contrast to create a leaping dolphin. Then there's a mystery dishcloth
from a Mystery Dishcloth of the Month from a Yahoo forum. We receive
10 pattern rows at a time and try to guess what it will turn out to
During this time of grief I have comforted myself with wool more expensive
than I usually buy. It helps, as does the moving meditation that knitting
© Sonia Brock 2006