I Miss My Cat, Her Soft Belly and Voiceless Meow--Rambling Poetic Prose About Loss
My Cat as a Kitten
I miss her soft belly and her voiceless meow.
Setzer! Setzer! I’d call in a high-pitched voice, and she’d come running with belly flopping, eyes wide, and mouth moving in that noiseless meow, hardly any voice, always that way, unlike her loud housemates, Oliver and Katie, always yelling, demanding food, when the bowls were half full.
And she didn’t get high on catnip, either, like the others would, but would join in on with them anyway and roll on the carpet—for their pleasure, I think. She was thoughtful like that.
Always had to explain her name. Setzer, a girl? Yeah, skinny, old stray cat in the yard that came into my house (yeah, demanded), so sweet, hanging out with us, accepted by the cats. Asked the neighbor if she was a stray cat. No, they said, and she was a “he,” but his sissy was having kittens soon. Would I be interested?
That's One Relaxed Cat!
Setzer and Little Trudy Jane
When This Special Cat Came Into My Life
So one day the neighbor came by with a tiny orange and white kitty. Named after supposed stray cat of the music group Stray Cats, with lead singer Brian Setzer, so I called her Setzer, softened it with a sweet, feminine middle name years later: Setzer Marie.
Oh, she went too soon, though almost 14. I thought she’d be fine. I thought she’d be fine. Eating less but some, then suddenly none, and no amount of IVs or prayers could help.
Doesn’t God like cats, too? I asked. I prayed. Too busy, I guess, to care about my needing her to be here, to momma the other cats. And to just sit near me on the couch.
Little Trudy Jane, meowing and rubbing against me all day after. Momma, momma. Who’s gonna lick me? Now it's been well over a month, and that little girl still is breaking my heart with her neediness.
And now nearly a year since her death, and little Trudy is now a loner. My household of cats still disjointed after Setzer's departure. The glue that held them all together.
Uncle Simon, who grew up with Setzer, hanging with her on the windowsill, maybe took Trudy Jane under his wing at first. But he's such a loner. He's not the lover that Setzer was.
And everyone has been different. Oliver and Katie cuddling close on the patio, on the settee where Setzer used to join
Setzer on the Left: They Haven't Cuddled LIke This Since She Has Been Gone. She was the Glue.
Setzer Accepted All Animals--Even Dogs
Petting my Sweet Cat
A Cat Who Loved Everyone and Every Animal
Setzer the lover. We’d spoon. We had for years, my arm around her soft fur. Naps or just in the middle of the night. She’d be there in the morning, on the bed, staring at me with the others, ready to start their day. Come on, she’d say, with her silent meow.
Why didn’t you meow at me, demand something, tell me what hurt you? Instead you purred at my petting and brushing and gazed at me with clear eyes to make me think you were getting better.
Did you know your time was near? Could I have stopped it? I should have tempted you more with other foods. I should have taken you for IVs sooner. I would have done whatever it took to save you.
14 years are a blur. Memories already fading, but I know we did a lot, played a lot, loved a lot. I have pictures, tons of them. I know you had a life here. I know I spent time with you, right?
Photo Tribute to My Setzer Marie: It Hurts So Much That You're Not Here (songs used with permission)
Book: Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates: This book gives me comfort that I will see Setzer again.
The Longing When a Loved One is Gone
I understand that longing. Just come back for a minute. Let me just hold you for a minute. Let me assure you how much I loved you. I'm feeding the cats more wet foods now to keep them better hydrated as they age. A can every day instead of the occasional treat. I feel guilty. You should be here, too. I would spoil you to heaven and back if you were here. Are you angry with me? That I couldn’t keep you here? That I didn't do more? Would you have left us no matter what? I wish I knew.
Five cats and a dog, yet the house is empty. A hole left by a cat with a heart that purred and never met a stranger, whether cat, dog, or human. The glue. The heart.
That jarring feeling comes in waves, washing through me, but not softening that tight knot in my throat or the stirs in my tummy, coming out in tears I’m not used to shedding. But I do for her.
I long for her soft belly and voiceless meow.
I felt compelled to make a video tribute to my sweet Setzer Marie. One song that kept coming to mind as I went through her pictures and reminisced was Linda Ronstadt's Goodbye My Friend. But while the song expresses the profound grief and loss I've felt, I wanted songs to better capture the sweetness of Setzer's soul.Plus, I fight against the line that "I know I'll never see you again," because I hold onto the hope that i will. I think the songs I finally chose do capture Setzer's sweetness and the feeling that we will have happy days together again.
However, those songs are copyrighted, so I can only watch the photos and listen to those on my own. What I found to set the video to music that I can share are these two songs:
Christmas 2012 with Setzer and Gizmo at PetsMart
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© 2015 Vicki L Hodges
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