Jeremiah's School of Levitation


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Goodbye, Catnip

Someone killed Catnip, our one year-old cat, last week. Someone ran over her and kept running, even though I'm sure they knew they hit a cat and, not only that, hit a cat with a bright pink collar, a magenta bell around her neck, and a metallic red heart-shaped ID tag with her name and my name on it. But, we got no call. I shouldn't expect anyone to stand up and be held accountable. Hell, people hit humans on the street and keep going. There's a world full of humans who are out of touch with humanity.

It happened within a period of five minutes of her being alive and cavorting on our bird feeder in the back yard, to me spotting her in the street as I returned from a brief visit to a friend's house up the block. I'll bet it happened, literally, when I turned my back.

She wasn't crushed, but her face was no longer gentle. t wore a mask of a violent, sudden encounter. My kids and wife were still at my friend's house, so the first thing I did was call her and tell her the news. I think her reaction spread to the kids pretty quickly and they began wailing almost immediately.

I then rushed outside and put Catnip in a bag. I covered the top of it just as my youngest came running down the street. He was hysterical, and he begged to see his cat, but I told him that we were going to remember her the way she was and not look at her again. I knew full well that I had successfully protected them from the sight, but because I was the one who came upon her still bleeding body, I knew I was never going to remember her the way she was again. I hate that image of her in the street and I wish I could erase it.

Catnip was an unusual cat. See, I don't usually like cats. They slink around too much for me. They dart and they scratch. They carry an air of arrogance that hits me like a bad smell. However, Catnip wasn't like that. She followed us everywhere. She slept with the boys. She never darted or cowered under couches or away from company. She was as personable as a dog, frankly, and I grew attached to her. Two days before someone killed her, I told her, "Hey Kitty. You a cool kitty." (I talk to animals in a combination of baby-talk and ebonics. Ba-bonics.)

The next few days we spent consoling the boys. They cried frequently and we recounted many of Catnip's friskier moments. Then, we buried Catnip in the back, complete with makeshift tombstone, candlelit funeral, and a poem that a very soulful friend of mine turned me on to. When I read it in the sterility of my email box, I thought it to be a bit maudlin. But, as I stood over Catnip and read it, well, I "got something in my eye." Here it is:


Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there.
I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow;
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush of quietbirds in circled flight;
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry;
I am not there,
I did not die.

- Anonymous

Goodbye, Catnip. See you everywhere.


Jeremiah, 9:59 AM

6 Back at me:

Jeremiah, that was beautiful. The poem yes, but more the memories and your superdad move to save your kids from an ugly memory. No, not just ugly memory, a nightmare. Good dad. Goodbye to Catnip. Curses on the irresponsible horrid human that hit her.
Blogger Maggie, at 10:57 AM  
I'm so sorry that your beautiful kitty got killed. That's so sad.

I've been there, complete with the graveside services that i would have rolled my eyes at another time.
Blogger meno, at 2:01 PM  
very lovely goodbye to a member of your family...
Blogger ipodmomma, at 7:36 AM  
I'm so sorry to hear what happened to Catnip. A family pet is something special. My sympathies are with you and your family.
Blogger JLR, at 7:10 AM  
all: Thanks for the sentiments. This past weekend, we got another cat, a Siamese, so the boy-toned choruses of "Let meeeeee hold herrrrrrr!" have resumed again.
Blogger Jeremiah, at 9:08 AM  
Beautiful poem, and now I'm crying like a baby. I shall use that poem in the future.

Rest in Beautiful Catnippy Peace, Kitty.
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 1:43 PM  

Say sump-tun