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 cats
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. Heres 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 do like to eat) is
wrapped in warm fur and purrs. Its 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.
Shes a tortoiseshell mix with a wonderful temperament and shes
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 shes got a skinny tail, the squeaky
hinge voice and shes 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 current cat, Tubby
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. Im knitting dishcloths with knit and purl designs of
small beasties on them. The one Im working on right now has
a centre design in the shape of a cat and theres one on the
workbench with a knit and purl contrast to create a leaping dolphin.
Then theres a mystery dishcloth from a Mystery Dishcloth of
the Month from a, then still active, Yahoo forum. We receive 10 pattern
rows at a time and try to guess what it will turn out to be.
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
is in the company of a cat.
© Sonia Brock 2006