Goodbye to the World’s Greatest Gatsby-cat

I’m meant to be posting a short story today, but 2022 – awful year that it’s been – had other plans for me, it seems. And 2022 – the worst year I think I’ve ever had – will just have to settle for eleven short stories. And this will be my last post of the year, because right now, I don’t have anything left in me. But also because Gatsby deserves this last reflection, this moment just for him.

Last night, we came home from dinner and found Gatsby on the bed. It looked like he’d fallen asleep and just not woken up. He looked peaceful and cozy. It was the best way I can I think of for him to go, comfy and safe in one of his very favorite spots, but I feel broken, and sad, and empty, and lost, because he’s gone.

I knew this day would come. Gatsby was an old man – sixteen, and a Maine Coon. I’ve been dreading it for the last couple of years, as he’d gotten sick and then better, and as we’d learned about some health issues that likely couldn’t be fixed. But you’re never ready, even when you know it’s inevitable, to say goodbye.

But today, I have to.

Gatsby was the world’s most wonderful cat. That tiny little kitten grew into a big, purring, fluffy sweetheart.

He was sweet, and loving, and floppy, and in his younger days, really playful. He loved watching birds through the window, and lately on TV, too, and he loved to snuggle up with us at night. He loved Graham, and me, and he loved us so well that his absence today feels acute and awful. But that doesn’t change that he lived a long happy life, and that he loved us, and that we loved him.

I will love him every day for the rest of my life. I never want to forget his meow, the way he purred, the softness of his fur, the glow in his golden eyes, his big rabbit back feet, and the way he’d latch on to me with one claw when he didn’t want me to leave. I never want to forget him.  

My sweetest boy: You’ll always be in my heart.

2022 really has been a terrible year for us, and to have it end this way is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. At this point, I’m honestly afraid of what comes next. I am so tired of being sad. But I hope 2023 is better, and brighter, and full of the kind of love Gatsby showed us every day.


Best Cat

Spring, 2006 – December 29, 2022

Merry Happy Everything!

I’ll be taking a break until Wednesday, December 28th so that I can spend time with family and eat lots of food and make good memories. So, in the meantime, whatever you may be celebrating this season, I hope it is joyous and full of love! I’ll see you next week with one more post for the year, and with December’s short story. 😊

Enough (A Poem, and a Moment)

I think I’ve cried every day since August.
I think I’ve cried more tears this year than in my entire life before it.
I think I’ve cried so many tears that the universe had to make extra to give me.
I think I’ve cried enough for more than just me and I love those women who couldn’t cry.
I think I’ve cried enough tears to fill a vast and endless and deep and wide ocean that only I can cross.
I think I’ve cried enough.
I think I’ve cried enough.
I think I’ve cried enough.

I can’t remember exactly who I was before August. But right now in this moment, after months and months, after recovering only to learn I hadn’t recovered, I think I’m ready to find her again. I know she’s waiting for me. We won’t be the same as we were. We’ll become someone new and strong and brave and happy together.

I can’t say why now is the time, when the time wasn’t before, in September, or in October, or in any of those liminal days in the autumn that I love so much.

And if you gave me a million chances to explain why I feel like I should share this with all of you, I don’t think I could tell you all the ways that knowing you’re out there reading and creating and making good things and putting them into the world has helped me heal, a little bit and a little bit, every day.

Nevertheless, here we are.

Here I am.

And I just wanted to tell you thank you and I love you for sticking with me and bringing me light, and also that I finally think I’ve cried enough.

The Perfect Present (A Christmas Poem)

Every year,
the name of the game is:
“Find the perfect gift.”
You ask what I want,
and my answer is just:
“Don’t get me anything.”
And, despite what
the Christmas machine may say,
yes, I really mean it.
Your presence is
my perfect present,
dearest friend of mine,
and no amount of money
will replace your gift of time.
They say:
“Life is short,”
and I know it’s true,
so here’s what I want from you:
Just yourself.
Nothing else.
I love you, not stuff.
(Yes, I’m telling you the truth.)
(Sure, bring your dog.)
(Your kid, too.)
(Please just come hang out with me.)
(I promise it’s enough.)

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: The Last Ice Storm

Will history repeat itself?

A couple of years ago, around this time, we had a pretty bad ice storm. We were not prepared, because it was forecasted to just be a light wintry mix. I was really worried our birch tree would crack under the weight of all that frozen stuff, and super anxious that we might lose power.

It didn’t, and we didn’t, but yeah, I don’t like ice. Snow? Yes! Ice? Hard no.

At any rate, it’s looking like we might see some winter weather tomorrow, and what do you know – they’re predicting a wintry mix. So, we’ll see. Fingers crossed it’s not too bad!

A Christmas Wish (A Poem)

‘Tis the season
for light and dreams,
and holly
and jolly days,
parades and parties and presents,
and also
So busy,
in fact,
that it’s hard to enjoy
the holly
and jolly
and cheer.
But we’re here!
One more year,
one more tree,
and so many reasons
to be merry.
We’re here,
and we’re happy,
and yes,
‘tis the season.
But man,
I’d love a nap.

Waiting for Snow

I know, I know. Not everyone loves winter and snow. But I do!

Alas, we haven’t had any yet, and it doesn’t look likely that we’ll get any soon. It’s early in the season, but you never know – sometimes we get a before-Christmas snow. So, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

And this is a short post. I know that, too. I’m not sure if everyone else gets swamped around this time of year, but Graham and I have been super busy lately. We’ve got two parties to attend this evening alone. I’m grateful for it, and next week looks less chaotic. So, you know, stick with me. Good things to come, I promise!