Moses, kitten, cat of cats,
white-sock tabby
mountain walker,
friend and pillow,
suburban shadow
willing to be leashed.

He stayed with us a summer
nineteen seventy six
his death will be forever
a part of the Olympic games,
If I see a film from Montreal,
I see his shadow.

We never saw the car
that broke his back,
but a neighbor dug his grave,
we made a simple cross,
picked flowers, cried.

I cannot bear to love a pet
since then.

Anders Gärderud, Montreal 1976

Sherry want’s us to write about the dogs (or cats…) at toads. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a pet of any kind, but our brief encounter with the wonderful Moses will always remain a fantastic memory.

May 25 – 2018

18 responses to “Moses

  1. Oh, Bjorn, i know that love, and pain, and not being able to face the heartbreak again. Thank you for this. Poor little cat. I love that he was a mountain walker. He lived big, while he was here.

  2. When they leave our lives, there is always a hole. That’s the only thing wrong with the animals we love — they don’t live long enough, even if they live into old age. But I’ve heard that the best compliment you can give a wonderful pet is allow your heart to be broken again by adopting another one.

  3. Your last line says it all.. I am at the point where the pain of parting is not worth the pleasure of the brief friendship. Sad, but I have post my endurance.

  4. How heartbreaking. And it’s incredible how long the pain lasts, and how vivid it can still be even decades later, isn’t it? Lovely little eulogy, Björn.

  5. A sad ending for your poem, Bjorn. Sad, very sad, for Moss too. Cats are no competition for the cars, no animal domestic or wild is. I’ve been told that animals have a shorter lifespan than their human masters so that they will be taken care of during their entire lifetime.
    We’ve been through several lifetimes and aren’t looking for another. We think our age is against us for that. But remember, they have shorter lifespans and a much higher accident rate than humans, it is supposed to be that way.

  6. kaykuala

    I cannot bear to love
    a pet since then.

    The lasting impression had a lot of impact on future decisions relating to pets. They have a way of making such an effect!


  7. I do know. And yet, after a years of loneliness, I did get another. Not knowing if I could love him, but I fell in love. It is their uniqueness. They are not the same, and each has a different love to give and to accept.

  8. now that is just so difficult – so moving – and I’m sorry, even as it was so long ago ( – I remember watching the 76 Olympics – my home, Montreal – I was … ummm … a kid ….. 7 1/2 – waiting on 8, with impatience no doubt – ) but it’s weird how we automatically make associations and ideas and connections, so your line, “If I see a film from Montreal,
    I see his shadow.” really made this piece for me – ( not just because it’s my hometown, but rather, ) because it’s such a personal to you memory and connection. the kind that add a richness and depth to really meaningful poems.

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