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Sunday 26 April 2015

Little Girl


Galanthus rivalis 2 [Snowdrop], Slovenia: photo by tsiegretlop, 7 April 2012

White as a snowdrop
tiny and sweet and bright
abandoned early after departure of her first friends
stuck it out in her own territory
a cold bare stone fence
braved those many long hard years alone
out there on mayhem street
all weathers exposed
sleeping in grease under cars
found her way in here after all that
a joy every minute since
so undemanding of life yet so full of life
before the cancer came
left the world this morning
..............and died
on this block
of nothing but strangers and passersby

white cat: image via Yuriusu @Yuriusu, 24 October 2013

Galanthus rivalis [Snowdrops], Slovenia: photo by tsiegretlop, 7 April 2012

The enchanting #snowdrop. Pure beauty emerging from sleep pushing towards hope, dreams and magic, as nature intended.: image via Evolving Spaces @shuiway, 5 April 2015


Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore said...

I'm there with you in that amazing homage... it goes for all of us.

TC said...

Thanks, Abdal-Hayy, for being t/here with us.

Mose23 said...

Condolences to you and A. A beautiful tribute.

TC said...

Gracias, Duncan.

The interment ground is gradually filling up with all the strays of the neighbourhood.

Nin Andrews said...

Yes, beautiful homage.

TC said...

And Nin, too -- Little Girl would have been pleased and surprised to know she had so many fine faraway friends, at the end.

Hazen said...

What a beautiful cat, and a lovely remembering of Little Girl. A lucky cat she was, after all. We’ve been here too.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Heart-tugging and gritty, as I imagine Little Girl was. My condolences.

Matt D said...


Love this post and I am a huge fan.

I am a filmmaker from Pittsburgh but now living in California. Interested in collaborating on something soon with you.

Among many other things I made this...

If you like it and would care to chat I am at

thank you

TC said...

Hazen and Vassilis, swell to have you at our little cat memorial, probably less fun than an Irish wake, but this was no Irish cat.

Lucky she was to have been born twice -- once in the wild, among a litter that then later on dispersed through the locale, her male sibling also showing up here, maybe ten years before she did -- and a second time when, reduced to a wee trembling fur ball cowering under a parked car in an oil pool, she finally allowed herself to be induced to accept food, shelter, love and all the rest of those inducements with which she was clearly unfamiliar.

And gritty she was, in holding her ground against cars, dogs and the elements, and then again in sticking up for her small bits of favoured position here in the cat asylum, which also harbours some larger male cats, for whom bullying is a natural part of the package.

She did not want to leave the world, but a footpad cancer, evidently sustained during her street years and developing since then, finally made things very, very difficult for her, the pain, the loss of mobility. There were the various vets with the various differing diagnoses and then finally the experienced, humane vet who saw the situation for what it was, and brought her sufferings to an end on Saturday.

billoo said...

Tom, so sorry to hear about your loss. She looks so sad in that picture. Are there any others on the blog?

TC said...

billoo, yes, that white cat pictured here does perhaps look a bit sad, but that's my fault for choosing to impose my private narrative on someone else' s picture of their cat -- which, hopefully, may be in perfectly good health as we speak.

The same sort of well-meaning deception occurs in this post, with the picture of the white cat halfway-through:

Meditation: Cat Dancer

These photos were selected out of the numberless thousands of cat pictures on the net for two reasons.

First, the resemblance to our cat is close enough to constitute a fair representation.

Second, there was a time six or seven years back when I did put up a photo I'd taken of one of our cats.

I felt a bit guilty about that, for some reason.

Since that time I have not again put up a photo I've taken.

Superstition perhaps, or modesty concerning my limited photographic skills, I don't know.

In any case, death having now kissed Little Girl the once, I wanted to be careful not to do it a second time myself.

In fact, though I was once in the habit of drawing and painting our cats, strictly for private consumption mind you, since then physical problems have pretty much ruled out that practise, along with many others.

Nora said...

Sorry for your loss! Back in the New College days, when all of us students used to assemble in your front room, we'd feel especially blessed when a tiny, delicate cat would tiptoe in to say hello.


"so undemanding of life yet so full of life"

thx Tom

TC said...

Nora and Vincent,

Thanks so much for the sweet words.

Vincent, that's what Little Girl was like. Never having known home comforts, she was easily pleased by the simplest things, asked for nothing ever, and contributed a spark of brightness, with her barky-talky little way of sharing her pleasures and discoveries, that invariably cheered up the moment, even in the darker times. Never fully appreciated the wonder of that gift until these past few days, when its conspicuous absence has affected the household morale more than somewhat.

And Nora, you've put me in mind of a longago day when one of our then cat family, a plucky little female tortoiseshell called Dark Sister (so named to distinguish her from her tawnier sibling, named, also by us, of course, Pale Sister), a cat not normally given to shows of affection toward strangers, seemed to have gone missing during class; only as people were leaving did we learn she'd spent the past 3+ hours curled up asleep in the arms of one of the students.

(Looking back, I can see that Dark Sister's response to the relentless wisdom of Professor Tom was in fact perfectly suited to the occasion.)