When my cat Katie died I was so distraught I gathered all the poems I had written about her over our 14 years and read them at a poetry open mic. Afterwards, people came up to me the same as if we had been at a memorial service for a human and offered condolences. One friend, a non cat person, said: “You should make these poems into a book.”
I assembled a manuscript, including an intro and epilogue aimed at spay and neuter education and submitted to Clare Songbirds Publishing House. And it was accepted! The book can be seen at www.claresongbirdspub.com and purchased there and from me. I designed a silk bookmark for folks who buy from me directly. Katie is the cat seen from the back on top and on the front cover.
The book is about love. The risk, about how animals more than any teaching is to love with our hearts wide open. It is the only way. It is about loss and the breaking of my heart those last desperate hours. But then how I learned, with her help, to go on because the love between two doesn’t stop simply because one body passes. The love lives on.I have signed so many copies to cat lovers and their feline family members. I’ve given quite a lot of readings from this book and they are always special. My veterinarian who is a part of the dedication of the book sells the book in his office as does another in another state.
So in this way, she lives still and she is out in the world helping others. I participated in an annual auction called Pawcasso by donating copies as well as artwork. Money earned there was given to an organization called Spay and Neuter Syracuse. 1800 cats who are members of low-income families received health care because of it. I also have donated some of the proceeds to the Central New York Cat Coalition. When Katie died, my vet directed me to a rescue where I met and adopted Leonard whose photo is on the book’s back cover. Not to replace Kate but because I needed his small life to help me through the first awful days. It is a small book with a great heart.
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