I am heartbroken to share that my little black cat Poe (8/17/02—07/21/20), just shy of 18, has passed.
Poe was the runt of his litter, and an ex and I rescued him from a filthy house in which he was sleeping in an oven when he was just eight weeks old. We’d already chosen the name Poe, even though the lady called him Sam. We got to the house, and he was nowhere to be found (there were like 100 cats). Tom called “Poe” and he came right to us. For the rest of his life, he always came running when I called his name.
Poe was extremely intelligent, and a bit of a wisecracker—there were times I could almost see him rolling his eyes at his less-than-bright brother, Mikey. He loved his bacon, and at Thanksgiving, he was constantly sitting in an empty seat and trying to get at the turkey. He also loved cream cheese (I was prepping for a party once, left to use the restroom, came back into the kitchen, and he was rolling around in a giant bowl of it that I’d left on the counter). He also loved vanilla ice cream and frosting.
His favorite toys were a lobster stuffed with catnip, which he completely destroyed in about a week, and a set of three Frankenstein balls, two of which he also completely destroyed (the third we still have). He understood what Christmas was, was always excited for the Christmas tree, and was down there at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, waiting to see what Uncle Nathan (or Santa) had put in his stocking. At every party, he trotted around the guests like a host, and even toward the end, when he got frail, he could still leap up on the counters.
Poe didn’t take shit from any of our other cats that have come and gone over the years—in fact, he liked to mess with them on occasion—but he was fiercely protective of the weaker ones. He was actually not very cuddly at all up until the last year or so of his life—he was kind of aloof, but oddly, he liked being where the action was and loved to pose for photos—he saw me with a camera and he pretty much did whatever I wanted him to. I wish so much that he had cuddled in bed with me, but he just wasn’t that kind of cat. He was, though, a very strong guardian. If I was upset, he would always hang around me, or follow me everywhere. He hated the snow (like his Mommy), and he had been known to sip from my wine when I wasn’t looking (or so he thought) when he was younger. He also, when he was a kitten, got a real kick out of knocking my cigarettes off whatever table they were on, though he never had a problem perching right next to my ashtray.
He is predeceased by his sisters, Taffy, Muffin, and Kali (LeeLee), and a brother, Barrett. He has already informed his surviving brother, Mikey, that Mikey will get ALL THE THINGS now.
Of all the loves in my life that I’ve lost, I’ll miss you, Poe, the most. You may have been the runt of the litter, but you were a very big light in my sometimes very dark life, and you will always be my little bear.
From our house to yours, a very happy Fourth! Stay safe and enjoy whatever it is you do with those you love!
Enjoy Creepypasta? Check out this intense reading of “Trenchman,” by John Wayne Comunale, in 34 Orchard‘s Spring 2020 issue! The story is scary on its own, but John’s intensity gives it that extra edge. You can watch it on YouTube here:
Like what you’ve heard? Get your free copy here: https://34orchard.com/issues/
Global Big Day–an annual event in which birders all over the country watch and count birds in the name of citizen science–happens at the beginning of the migration season, in early May. This year, it’s next Saturday, May 9!
Although we won’t be doing our usual driving everywhere–to parks and other places–due to the pandemic, we will definitely be participating from our own back porch. You can, too! If you’ve already got some feeders up, you’re all set. Grab your coffee, cocktails and binoculars and get ready! Here’s where to go for more info: https://ebird.org/news/global-big-day-9-may-2020
On that note, it appears the birds don’t know or care that it’s Global Big Day, because they were all here this weekend. In addition to our regulars (usually between 10 and 15 species), we had several transients, as well as new birds we hope will settle down with us for the summer. Here’s the complete list of all the birds I saw this weekend (Nathan saw a few more than I did; he spent more time outside). New-to-the-yard birds for THIS YEAR (meaning they’ve been here in prior years, but haven’t shown up yet in 2020) and transients (mostly the warblers) are in blue.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak – M and F
Eastern Bluebird – M and F
Northern Cardinal – M and F; courtship display
House Finch – M and F; courtship display
Purple Finch – M
Baltimore Oriole – M
The debut issue of 34 Orchard–a new dark literary fiction magazine–is now available!
With cover art by Brandon Kawashima, this issue features artists from as far away as Greece, Nigeria and the UK–as well as right here in the US–and delivers visceral work that unpacks the things we don’t want to admit are in our basements.
The downloadable PDF is designed so that it can be printed on double-sided paper for easy reading like a print magazine.
The issue is free, but there is a donation link should you choose to contribute.
On April 25, artists from all over the globe deliver visceral work that unpacks the things we don’t want to admit are in our basements. Announcing the Table of Contents for 34 Orchard’s Inaugural issue!
Cover Art: Lost and Found, Brandon Kawashima
Trenchman – John Wayne Comunale
Madame Rosio Holds a Séance – J. Federle
A Murder – Die Booth
Tales from a Communion Line – Yash Seyedbagheri
A Hand Against My Window – Deborah L. Davitt
Night Crier – Stephen Mark Rainey
Runner – Chrissie Rohrman
Bad Altitude – Luke Spooner, Carrion House, http://www.carrionhouse.com
Bones – Crystal Sidell
Kintsugi – Page Sullivan
Christmas Chicken – Ernest O. Ògúnyemí
/thestrangethingwebecome – Eric LaRocca
Laying out my dolls – Malcolm Davidson
Lust Becomes Us – Dawson M. Kiser
Like It’s A Mad Thing – Lee Ann Kostempski
the reader – Christopher Woods
The Pink Casket – Atalanti Evripidou
Dinner at the Candlestick Table – Megan Wildhood
My husband Nathan picked me up a couple of pairs of these glasses that turn your tree lights into funky things. Well, I promptly needed to “collect them all”—or most of them, anyway! I’ll be giving these out at my New Year’s Eve party, but I wanted to share how much fun these are with all of you.
Have a blessed Christmas and an amazing 2020!
Kristi, Nathan, Charles, and Poe and Mikey
Jim Harrington’s Six Questions For… blog, which focuses on interviews with literary magazine editors, has published an interview with me as editor of 34 Orchard here: https://sixquestionsfor.blogspot.com/2019/12/six-questions-for-34-orchard.html
If you’re a writer, this is a WONDERFUL blog to read—especially if you’re wondering what goes on in editors’ heads before you submit!