Stories on a Map


Jocko 3 largeJyotsna Paranjape


Where’s Jocko? A touch of dread
The food loving cat, with a clock for a stomach,
Not there.
Touch of dread – he was not there, padding behind,
Onto the sink, lapping from the tap.

Food in the oven, safe from Moofie
Touch of dread – will he ever eat it?
Moofie out, looking for him?
Returns alone – touch of dread.

Outside – not there
Along the road – not there

‘No sign’ – panic yet hope.
‘Run over’ – hope fading fast.

Box in the hallway – dread.
Is it him?

What will I see?
Open the box.
Last flicker gone – of hope and Jocko.
Jocko curled in death
Signs of violence on his ear and mouth
Gentle loving cat
Still soft and pale and cuddly
One last stroke to love and say goodbye.
Fluffy tail, even in death – last moment of terror?

Then he’s gone.

He did return home
But his miaows had been silenced.

The house is quiet now.
No more indentations on William’s pillow, no lump in his bed.
No more thumps.
No trampling.
No howling.
No Jocko upstairs.
No Jocko.

Our handsome, dignified, chocolate owl cat is gone
Leaving memories of his gentleness and soft purring.
You are missed.


© 2015 Jyotsna Paranjape
Image: author’s own
In memory of Jocko,
born 17 February 2003, died 12 March 2015