Story – A cat dies


In 2003, a cat I shared the house with died. I wrote a short piece about its last days. Later I turned it into a dramatic  monologue I directed for the theater. Here’s the words, & a link to the monologue.
This morning the cat, Tanit, twelve years of bad character and weird behavior, was found when Monique went to get the vacuum cleaner in the veranda and I heard her scream. Kitty was dead in the corner of the veranda, laying hidden between the stove and the wall, behind inert domestic equipment. She’d been dead a day or two, one side of her flat from lying in the same position. Eyes open, goop having leaked from them.
She had had a tumor diagnosed at the beginning of the summer. She limped and stumbled toward her death. Carefully moving in the garden from one stone slab to the next, sometimes listing sideways, her usually adroit paws colliding with one another, once ending up on her side in the corgette plants.
She would get up, knowing something was dreadfully wrong, and move on. She panted on, lying under the fir tree when it was too hot, going from one spot to another, usually avoiding the sun, whereas in days gone by she was always trying to follow the sun, gather its warmth, bathe in it.
The last Saturday of her life we had a ten people over for lunch in the garden, and she had joined us, being socialable, rubbing and even eating, with relish, some bits of beef I gave her. I could see her eating the dropped morsels with gusto, then, during a good gnaw the sixth piece, suddenly she froze, her eyes figuring, the pain there, a sudden loss of appetite, and she turned and walked into the neighbor’s bushes, and sat, then lay down in the shade, unmoving. During lunch, I had picked her up and laid her emaciated body across my two palms and showed her to everyone. She did not move; she had purred.
Now flies land on her corpse, and scamper toward her eyes, to suck on those unblinking orbs.
*******
That was the original bit I wrote.  Five years later, I turned it into a monologue. If you watch the video of it I made here.
Close listening will reveal that some textual changes were made. Nearly always necessary for spoken text adapted from prose meant for reading. Much of it is the same, however, with only the names have been changed to protect…

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3 Responses to “Story – A cat dies”

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by VincentEaton: Memory of a pet cat’s death. http://bit.ly/2IlZtJ

  2. Leila says:

    What is it with you and cats dying?!
    Seriously, though, it’s a moving piece 🙁 my condolences.

  3. admin says:

    Yes, dead domestic pets haunt my life. I have a couple of others, as you know, on this. But we’ll parcel them out gently… Thanks for the comment, kiddo.

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