Everyone has a bad day from time to time. Maybe not “attacked-by-a-bear-then-left-to-die-in-the-woods” bad, but everyday bad. Even those we see as being particularly blessed will have a shocker now and again. Bill Gates will get his wang caught in his fly. Dave Grohl (“nicest man in rock”) will accidentally drop a “c-bomb” in front of his mum at a family dinner. David Beckham will get completely ignored in public, while his son gets spotted and subjected to trial by selfie. Donald Trump will accidentally put the hamster on his head, while his wig is being cleaned…
Yeah, I’m keeping this build-up light. Last Thursday was a shocker for me. And that saying about things coming in threes? Yep, that too.
Thursday morning, out of the blue, I got told at work I’m going to be made redundant. In the afternoon, a serious health scare for someone very close to me, that will need surgery.
These are both major shocks to the system, but it was the one that happened in between that made me break down and cry like a baby.
I saw my cat die.
While getting changed out of my work clothes, brain whizzing about with what I’m going to do next, how we’re going to pay the mortgage/ feed the kids/ get through this one, I watched my cat die on the bed, right next to me.
With no warning, she lay her head on its side, and just curled up like a leaf closing, pulling in on herself. The air slowly leaving her body. A balloon silently deflating.
I patted her and stroked her, saying her name over and over, but there was no reaction. I patted her a bit more urgently. Nothing.
Her heart wasn’t beating.
Her lungs weren’t working.
I started blubbing like a baby, sobbing her name.
Maybe ten seconds later, she lifted her head up and let out a couple of angry mews (pain?).
I went to stroke her, but she ran off and hid downstairs. She was a bit skittish for the rest of the day, but otherwise acted the same as normal. A bit mental, a bit stand-offish, very demanding about food. You know, like a normal cat.
I know my cat, and I know how she reacts to things. I am absolutely certain that she died. And yet here she is now, nuzzling around my feet, acting within her normal parameters of strangeness.
Maybe her throat closed or something. I don’t know. Do cats suffer from anaphylactic shock?
So with those big three things happening on the same day, the one that made me really cry, and is making me well up recalling it, was my cat dying. For a bit.
This is my final haiku of the week, which have been unusually morbid for me. This one is dedicated to David Bowie. I wrote the haiku first, and then couldn’t get the image of Bowie in his final incarnation in “Lazarus” out of my head. I hope the restless artist’s soul has now found peace.
Eye sheds single tear
Drum-taut, paper-thin skin greys
Heart’s silence, ends life
Woke to sad, sad news:
No more to see his chameleon face.
Leaving a lifetime’s soundtrack,
Youth’s oddity shuffles into space.
Others will undoubtedly, and rightly, post links to some of Bowie’s classic songs today. I will take a different tack and post this. It is a parody, but it is clearly made by fans of Bowie, and is made with love. RIP David.