Monday, December 7, 2015

In which we worry about the cats

Primo and I are worried about Sly and Doris' cats. They are elderly and elderly cats don't get adopted. The cats are sad and lonely - their people are gone.

Cat in an Empty Apartment

Wisława Szymborska, translated from the Polish byStanisław Barańczak and Clare Cavanagh
Die—you can’t do that to a cat.
Since what can a cat do
in an empty apartment?
Climb the walls?
Rub up against the furniture?
Nothing seems different here
but nothing is the same.
Nothing’s been moved
but there’s more space.
And at nighttime no lamps are lit.

Footsteps on the staircase,
but they’re new ones.
The hand that puts fish on the saucer
has changed, too.

Something doesn’t start
at its usual time.
Something doesn’t happen
as it should.
Someone was always, always here,
then suddenly disappeared
and stubbornly stays disappeared.

Every closet’s been examined.
Every shelf has been explored.
Excavations under the carpet turned up nothing.
A commandment was even broken:
papers scattered everywhere.
What remains to be done.
Just sleep and wait.

Just wait till he turns up,
just let him show his face.
Will he ever get a lesson
on what not to do to a cat.
Sidle toward him
as if unwilling
and ever so slow
on visibly offended paws,
and no leaps or squeals at least to start.


  1. I don't have a solution, but I'm curious to know what you all decided, as DH and I will face the same issue with his grandmother's elderly cat that has personality issues. No one else wants it, and our dog would torment its life out, so we can't take it, but I know perfectly well that an older, obnoxious cat with litterbox issues isn't going to be adoptable.

  2. Lauren...I hope this helps. My elderly aunt had an evil cat. when my aunt needed to go into a nursing home, I was able to get her into a no kill sanctuary locally. A year later, right before my aunt died, the evil cat was adopted. Keep up hope. Also, it's a good idea to start looking into no kill cat sanctuaries and shelters now before you need it. Talk to folks in the area (as some will only take animals from their service areas). Good luck, and I hope it turns out as well for your DH's grandma's cat. There is hope. Goldie, what happened to the kitties?

    1. Oh, there has been kitty drama!

    2. Thanks, LJL! I don't know anything about the local no-kill shelters, but I'm going to start looking into them. We live in a fairly rural area, and most people prefer indoor/outdoor cats, but DH's grandmother had the cat front/back declawed (over my strenuous objections), which makes it even less adoptable. *sigh*

  3. Good idea, LJL. If possible, please remember to financially support the rescue if you can. Medical bills can be high for geriatric felines. $25 a month - or any amount you can afford - will go a long way to ensuring that no kill rescue will be there to care for the ones (tabbies and black cats are not "flashy" enough for some people) that are never adopted.

    1. That's what Primo and I have in the instructions to my sister, who is our executor. First, if something happens, she is to call our adorable catsitter and ask him to take care of the cats and she is to pay him $20 a day, which is four times more than we usually pay, and then to return the cats, along with a $3,000 donation, to the Siamese Cat Rescue Society where we got them. (I might need to up that amount.)

  4. This is completely irrelevant, but I was checking the blog before going to watch something with my husband and he looked at the screen and said "What about you in an empty apartment?"

    1. :) "Me in an empty apartment where nothing needs to be cleaned and nothing needs to be cooked and all I can do is read my book.:

    2. Too funny! Talk about spooky yourself. "Enjoying your peace and quiet?" he asked.

      - AC

  5. Oh, this poem makes me sad! I don't want to imagine my two kitties all alone waiting for me :-(

    1. This poem makes me cry every time I read it. Poor kitties!

  6. This made me so sad. And made me scared and reminded me to amend my will with instructions regarding my cats. :-(

  7. Yep, made me shed a few tears too, just like the Rainbow Bridge poem about pets.