The Art and Heartache of Losing a Cat

CatMy cat went missing. The same day I lost my car keys. These things happen in pairs. Which is why I’m anxious. On the bus I check my backpack a dozen times to make sure my money is in the same zippered pocket, or I enter an address into my GPS twice just in case I don’t catch how the app slyly inserted the wrong city when I wasn’t looking. It’s enough that I’m doing everything I can to stay ahead of the curve, eat right, exercise, take vitamins. Other things have gone missing, but that’s on me. After all, what good was my holding on to a memorial program for the city’s first Asian councilman, or a certificate naming me as one of the first to ride beneath the San Francisco Bay, even though both would be worth bunches today on Craigslist or eBay? I threw out the documents a while ago, had no appreciation for my being a witness to local history, one of the reasons why hindsight can be a pain in the ass, which is the same reason why my friend has saved everything since she was eight years old and rents a storage unit hoping she’ll never have to be sorry for tossing a scrap of paper that turns out to be the find-of-the-year on the Antiques Roadshow—part of her personal history, her scrapbook. I understand the urge. My friend is an only child who doesn’t have siblings to recall her stories. Instead, she has boxes filled with paper. Don’t get me wrong. I also have collections. There’s my bookmarks, for example, ones from all over the country bearing slogans, sketches, and quotes from famous authors, and some with my own scribbles about page 9 or 56. Then there are the unofficial bookmarks: receipts from the post office, someone’s business card, a card reminding me to subscribe to a magazine for a special discount. Along the way, I collect things like refrigerator magnets, each with its own story. But none of this can tell me where my cat is, my favorite cat in the whole world with a face that is all about pure love and adventure and the joy of being a cat. Where is he? When is he coming home?

About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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