Jeanne Ellin: Sorrow, rainbows and wood pigeons

Banner with Jeanne Ellin's quote

I have had to find my little cat a new home. Increasing near-miss falls have frayed both our nerves.

Cat being stroked My growing cataract has impacted on my sideways vision making me stumble over little cat more frequently and even on occasion step on her. Her response has been to develop a chicken-run strategy of rushing under my feet hoping to avoid the problem.

Predictably this just increased the near misses and stumbles. Two dangerous almost accidents – one nearly had my head through the glass pane of the kitchen door and another only just missed us both being scalded by a mug of tea.

I’d spent so much time building up her confidence and to see her becoming anxious and timid again is very painful. I can’t see a happy outcome; my cataract surgery is a long way off so I decide to find her a new home.

A very nice family with access to a safe walled garden and a farmyard with a lonely lady who has recently lost her own pet. I hope they bond and have many happy years together.

I can hardly speak when she is collected protesting in her basket. I send her favourite foods and familiar things with her. Then sit and cry. Doing the right thing is not always painless.

Two week later I have had only one stumble instead of the almost-daily trips and near misses and the flat is very quiet. She will be my last pet. She has left a big emptiness, a cold spot on my lap and under my heart. She deserves to be missed.

Making breakfast still wearing my nightie I see a rainbow outside my kitchen window and rush, well, totter, rapidly outside. It arches from South to East, the end seeming to come to rest behind our outbuildings. I stand there enraptured for some time, not noticing the goose bumps, and am rewarded by the sight of two wood pigeons standing in for their white dove cousins, flying from the direction of the rainbows hidden end.

Oh, if peace was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Jeanne Ellin

About Jeanne Ellin

I am a poet working at living a creative life in a one room flat, companioned by a menagerie of chronic health problems. I began this series of posts after being inspired by two women younger than myself, who, fearful of their imagined old age spent in ill health and poverty, committed suicide. I explore every year as a bonus of adventures, with moments of discomfort or fear, but with unexpected treasure to be found - helped by a sense of the ridiculous, a world perspective and creativity.

  • Deborah Garlick

    So so sorry Jeanne, I’m sure you miss her and that she loved living with you. Hope you get to visit her regularly x