Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Mayumi Yamamoto

I call her more often than before – before she’s gone. Louder.

Sometimes, I even shout out her name when I stay alone at home. If someone sees me doing so, I would be mistaken as an old woman suffering from dementia. In reality, I understand what happened to her. But I simply do not want to accept it. So, I behave as if she is still alive.

When I come home, I call out, “Tadaima! (I’m home!) to let her know that I’m back. Then I search for the place where she sleeps. Even if she hears me calling her, she doesn’t show up. Neither does she take the trouble of answering me. She keeps lying down with her head up, with folded arms and legs under her body, and observes me until I find her. When I say, “Ah, here you are!” she just gazes at me quietly. That was her style each time I got home before dark.

So, I simply continue this routine –even after she’s gone. Whenever I go out, I make certain where she is. And upon returning, I check if she still stays in the same spot or has moved to her other favorite place. The only difference between now and then is that I cannot find her anymore, anywhere. Then I go out to the balcony where I keep the large wooden planter where I buried her. I had prepared this cube flowerpot for that purpose, when she turned 20. That was three years ago.

I am a person who prepares for what I am going to face, if that is inevitable. The life expectancy of cats is said to be around 18 or so. I completely understand that she enjoyed a longer and healthier life. And she was blessed by god with a natural death. What more could I wish for?

But the fact is, the longer we stayed and grew old together, the more endearing and treasured she became to me. She was no longer a lovely cute kitty as a pet who was appreciated by everybody, but has become the most precious partner of my life. Our relationship of more than twenty years is more than enough for me to make such a claim, I believe –though she was not a human being. Yes, she was a cat. So what?

It was the time for her to go over there. But still, I cannot be logical with this bereavement. Now I realize that it is impossible to be ready for the loss of the most beloved one.


Mayumi Yamamoto is a writer and academic based in Kyoto, Japan. She studied in India and worked in Nepal as well as in Japan. After retirement, she started writing nonacademic pieces in English. Her poems and writings have appeared in Literary Yard, Indian Periodical, The Space Ink, RIC Journal, Spillwords and Ariel Chart. She authored several published books in the Japanese language.

Leave a Reply

Related Posts