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And homeless near a thousand homes I stood,

And near a thousand tables pined and wanted food.

Guilt and Sorrow, Stanza 41   William Wordsworth

Dedicated to all  the cats who don't have anyone to remember them, in honor of my dear Keiko-Kenji.

Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.    

Longfellow   

"...creatures ...that in the colours of the rainbow live, and play..."      Milton

Keiko-Kenji

Loveliest of lovely things are they on earth that soonest pass away. The rose that lives its little hour Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.

William Cullen Bryant

Keiko-Kenji was a small cat, very dainty, with black and white markings that were almost like checks.  He had bright pale green eyes.   Like many Singapore cats, he only had a stub of a tail, and when he was happy it would move in a little circle.  It looked just like a paintbrush working away.

He always trotted happily down the sidewalk to greet me and escort me to his "home," at the end of the street.  He loved to be petted; he especially loved to be petted while he ate. He was afraid of other passers-by, so he hid behind me to eat his dinner, figuring I guess that I would protect him.  If only I could have.

When I left he'd follow me to the corner and then sit and watch me walk away. Half a block from his spot I'd turn around one more time and still he'd be there, watching me leave. I still picture him that way. Watching me walk away.

Keiko-Kenji was cruelly killed by a cat stalker.  

    The Unknown Kittens    

A most unspotted lily shall she pass to the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.

William Shakespeare. King Henry VIII..

I only saw them twice.  They were adorable, they were curious, they were just figuring out that Singapore was larger than the patch of ground under the hedge where they were born.

They were doomed. 

They disappeared without a trace. They were too young to have been adopted by someone.

I never had a chance to name them.

   Pumpkin

Know'st thou the land where the lemon-trees bloom, Where the gold orange glows in the deep thicket's gloom, Where a wind ever soft from the blue heaven blows, And the groves are of laurel and myrtle and rose!

Goethe

I never saw Pumpkin. He was one of the sad little cats that Clarice found -- beaten and scalded with a boiling liquid by one of Singapore's hawkers. She asked me to foster him when he came out of the hospital. I named him Pumpkin because he was orange and it was near Halloween. I made plans to buy tuna and salmon and a soft cat bed and catnip; all the things that might make up in a tiny way for his tragic life. But he didn't make it. He was put to sleep on October 18th. It was the kindest thing to do, he was suffering too much.

The Dumpster Kittens

Small service is true service while it lasts. Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one: The daisy, by the shadow that it casts, Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun.

William Wordsworth

Their eyes were barely open and they were no bigger than a mouse.  One was black and white, one was calico, one was white, and the other was ginger. Someone left them in a cardboard box in the dumpster behind my service apartment, and someone else moved them to an area with a little more shelter and put a dish of milk in the box, but they were too young to drink milk from a dish.  No one called the SPCA.

By the time someone told me about them, it was too late to do anything but take them to the SPCA and put an end to their suffering.

"How we behave toward cats here below determines our status in heaven."

-Robert A. Heinlein

   


This page was created in memory of Bill Garland, a friend to stray animals all his life.

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