Everything Hurts


You’ve got

No Skin


The cat with no name

June 2011

Today I had a cat killed.

The phone rang. It was my friend the veterinary nurse.

The test came back FIV positive.”

I had asked her to make sure his blood was tested. Now I had to say it,

I know what I have to do. And I hate it.”

She argued a painfully false hope,

He’s healthy now. He can live a couple of years.”

What about my cat? My neighbour has four. What about them?”

There is no vaccine or treatment or cure. All it takes is one bite; fighting or rough and tumble. Transmission is saliva to blood. Toms infect females when they bite the scruff of the neck while mating. When cats fight…..

Tara was fourteen when she died. I told the vet,

But she’s neutered.”

He shrugged. You don’t need to mate to catch it.

I had brought her in that morning. She had collapsed yet again. I had thought it was her thyroid.

The nurse phoned. The vet had to speak to me. A friend drove me up.

We have to put her down now.”

I collapsed. I was on the floor in the foetal position. My friend talked me to my feet.

Let me hold her.”

Her bladder will go.”

I’m sorry Tara….”

Tears ran down my face. They should have let me hold her. The vet shaved her paw, slid the needle in…..

It was like switching off the light.

They put her in a cardboard box. She was wrapped in a towel.

I sat on my bed and cradled her limp form in my arms. Patti Smith’s Gone Again album blasted at me…..

I never mourned her. I could not allow myself to grieve.

She’s buried in the garden of a church, which is ironic considering her owner’s atheism.

Every spring snowdrops emerge and then bluebells; a little commemoration of the purity of her love. She nurtured me through my breakdowns; sitting atop my curled form; sometimes wrapping herself around my head as if she were the mother cat and I her kitten. She saved my life; more than once.

I spoke into the phone,

Can Cats’ Protection not take him?”


Can he be rehomed?”

You would have to take care of that.”

She had other patients to think of; and her own cats.

I swallowed, then,

I know what has to be done.”

She had collected him that morning after I’d rescued a little stray tom and endured a night of caterwauling. My own cat had kept his distance from the creature locked in the bathroom. My lazy, soft, quiet, cuddly neutered male could not be doing with this deranged young one who would rub up against me one moment then snap at my hand the next. He was a feline teenager flooded with testosterone and stress hormones. I sat on the floor beside him and he understood. I was in charge and he would shut up. I was angry at him, so much so that I had not given him a name. That would wait till he was relieved of his testicular burden.

I’m glad he made me angry. It’s harder to let them go when you’ve give them a name.



It was a holiday. The church café was closed. I liked these days. I could visit Tara in peace. The pile of soil was a cause of concern. I’d told them time and again where she was buried; look for the square of brick set into the ground under the linden tree. I couldn’t find it. There was nothing but a hole. Some piece of denial told me they hadn’t done this. I fumbled in the bare soil looking for the outline.

A brick.

Is it the outside or inside of the square?

The earth was dry as it flowed through my fingers. And then;

A bone. From the hind leg. The longest in a cat’s body. I dropped it and walked away.


I tore the wrapping from the cork and poured myself a glass of brandy. Then another. By the fourth or fifth it was taking effect.

There was a time when this would have broken me. I had hardened up.

Or perhaps merely died inside.


Words of Thanks to a Soul Surgeon

I’ll never be what I

Should have been

Because I fell

Under your spell

Your Madness is

So Seductive


Like an endless stream of drink

It blocks all of

Reality’s efforts

To make you see

That the people who love you

Have to carry your pain

And be crushed

By your Outbursts

And blame themselves

Because You





I believed that too

And blamed myself

When you

Reached into me

And crushed

The frightened Child

That I allowed you

To see

I felt that my filth

And my madness

Was polluting your home

When all along

It was

Your head that was

Overflowing with

An insane



That sent me

On a

Kamikaze Mission


Now the person

That I was

Is dead

Killed by You


And you will never

Accept responsibility

For any of your

Filth and Madness

Or the damage

That it Causes

To other




Looking back

I like that kid

That I was

Before I met you

He never

Had a chance


You destroyed my faith

In Humanity

And my will

To live


I will never forgive you

Emotional Rapist

Mothers’ Day

I didn’t ask you

To inflict this life

And your Evil

Upon me


I live every day

And every night

In the shadow

Of your Madness


You have castrated me

And you know

It feels good

To say

I am to blame


My rage devours me

Your cancerous Gift




I want you

To die

Of Cancer

Slowly and painfully

I want you to lose

All hope

Of an afterlife


I want you to understand

That your life

Amounts to nothing

But other




You know how long

I have longed

For your Destruction


What you have done to me

You do to me

Every day

And every night

You invade my



There is no end