March 1, 2008

Cat in an empty apartment

This is again time for Musing... the tradition started by Carolyn at Sweet Home & Garden Chicago

Cat in an empty apartment

Dying--you wouldn't do that to a cat.
For what is a cat to do
in an empty apartment?
Climb up the walls?
Brush up against the furniture?
Nothing here seems changed,
and yet something has changed.
Nothing has been moved,
and yet there's more room.
And in the evenings the lamp is not on.
One hears footsteps on the stairs,
but they're not the same.
Neither is the hand
that puts a fish on the plate.
Something here isn't starting
at its usual time.
Something here isn't happening
as it should.
Somebody has been here and has been,
and then has suddenly disappeared
and now is stubbornly absent.

All the closets have been scanned
and all the shelves run through.
Slipping under the carpet and checking came to nothing.
The rule has even been broken and all the papers scattered.
What else is there to do?
Sleep and wait.

Just let him come back,
let him show up.
Then he'll find out
that you don't do that to a cat.
Going toward him
faking reluctance,
on very offended paws.
And no jumping, purring at first.

by Wislawa Szymborska
translated by Joanna Maria Trzeciak


Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a sad poem Ewa. I hope this doesn't reflect your mood tonight. I hope you are surrounded by your loving family and your wonderful kitty.

Unknown said...

What a beautiful, if heartwrenching, poem! I'm sure that is how our catchildren feel when we're away for a few hours. Where ARE they...when are they coming home? then they look at us when we come home and say, "were you gone somewhere? We didn't notice!"

VP said...

Ewa - I love your cats and the poem :)

I've revamped my blog to include pictures of our 2 cats...

Curmudgeon said...

I loved the poem Ewa. It made me pick up each one of our 3 in turn and give them a big hug--the one loved it and asked for more, the second squirmed and sqiggled away but she was purring, the third hissed and gave me that "how dare you muss up my fur" look. What a swwet face your kitty has!