20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


I wish that I could be a prowling cat
or, ghostlike in the wall, hear pieces, bits
of whispered conversation. Oh. He quits?
How can this be? I feel my heart fall flat.

I wish my dad had not deserted us.
I wonder what we might have all become
if he’d not gone away and left us numb.
I felt a big subtraction, never plus.

I wish my father had approved of me,
shown his encouragement or his support.
Instead, he and my mom wound up in court,
their marriage then dissolved. He, fancy-free,

married again, then two times more. I saw
him try for happiness. O, how I begged
for his attention, but I had him pegged
right, and I sadly saw the fatal flaw

that kept him locked from free and easy back
and forth relationships. And how I wish
than cancer hadn’t spilled its nasty dish
into his lap to emphasize the lack

he must have felt. I stopped my wishing then,
forgave him, overlooked much, and calmed down.
He, after all, had shared his writing crown.
He’d lived Days One through Nine. Soon coming? Ten.



Meditation with Cat, by Susan Dean Wessells

as a wizened nun
he nestles in my arms,
regarding his universe
with a contented sigh.

Mandalas of dust motes
morph new designs
while phantoms unseen
(by me)
draw his unblinking gaze.

Head tucked in
and upside down
he sleeps
(and softly snores).
I cradle him,
by his absolute trust.

A study in serenity,
he instructs me
in the zen of being.

“It seems if there is a cat in the house of a poet at least one poem will be generated extolling the feline. This is my de rigeur cat poem.”  – Susan Dean Wessells


Hyper Vigilance in Repose (Penny the Cat)

Penny the Cat is ever vigilant. Many hours a day she stares out the windows watching the movements of all manner of life’s twitterings outside. She meows, paces, cants her head this way and that. If she snoozes, it is out of my sight.

So, the other day, I had my camera in hand and there was Penny upside down, spread out, asleep atop a chair. I approached. She snoozed. Odd. I took a dozen pictures. She yawned, she stretched, she licked her paw, she gazed at me through half open eyes. Penny hadn’t a care in the world. The world was moving along outside without her. A very rare who cares moment from Penny.


Penny Mid-Yawn. Those piercing teeth clearly visible. A little tartar buildup it appears. The hair on the chair makes it evident this is where Penny sometimes lays her head. Vacuuming is in order. Isn’t a good lens so helpful,, if not embarrassing.

A quick grooming lick, the camera clicking away doesn’t alarm her.

Penny, mildly interested, and seemingly saying ‘go away’.


Another Direction

I saw the pulmonologist again this afternoon. While I’m better I still have a little coughing and some raspiness to my voice.

He was pleased with the progress I’ve made. However, he’s going to do some allergy testing on August 14. He also recommended that we have our carpeting and furniture professionally cleaned, even though we no longer have our cat, because kitty fur and dander is still present. I haven’t had that service for awhile so it’s good timing. I’ll call tomorrow to make that appointment.

I hope to get some answers.


A blog site well-named 20 Lines,
a place where, just as in mines,
the dark yields its gems –
lovely flowers on stems –
Each writing and photograph shines

A strange young woman named Gail
braided knots in her kitty cat’s tail.
When meows grew intense
Gail, silly and dense,
put poor kitty behind bars in jail.

Robert Parker put golf clubs away
when he knew he could no longer play.
“I am finished,” he said,
“and am going to bed.”
We’ve heard nothing from Rob since that day.


Clive the cat missing

today, it  started like no other

not a sound ,  did Clive the cat utter

searched up and down

he’s not to be found

looked outside ,  in the trees

even got down ,  on my knees

around in the bushes

in flowers he pushes

stumbling with worry

I go through the door

what do i see , rolling on the floor

Clive  was  scrubbing , itching his back

I bent on over to give him a snack

he jumped as my hand , made a big smack

Clive the cat , upon my nose did whack



Poems , Story’s and the cats tail

It seems the days have become somewhat routine without me really knowing . I have a small amount of structure in my day , without trying  . I noticed some crazy things this morning after getting up . I do the same things , in the same order that I do every morning ….. hmmm  Is that age sneaking up or another way of thinking . I also noticed the seriousness of my condition dwindling into a smaller part of my thinking compared to a priority of my day.

I enjoy writing , I have a few story’s in my head as they are going down on paper more everyday . I feel the act of writing for me has transformed the idealistic , possibly egocentric personality into a more observant , cautious and more  unselfish  individual . I know the stages of my recovery are slowing , as the fast pace of the early months have been replaced with this routine I have come to know . I’m certain that this will also change , when the next stage comes in , I do know I will write about it and share my experience with whom ever wants to read and share .

By the way …Clive the cat is also part of my routine , seems he waits at the top of the stairs for me to get up . When walking by he snaps at me playfully wanting attention . We usually walk down the stairs together all the while his tail switching …


Kitty Cat


Kitty cat, kitty cat, can you catch the naughty rat?

Running ‘cross the room like that, me here with a baseball bat!

I was napping, where I sat when that dirty, naughty rat

Ran across the room like that! Git ‘im!  Git ‘im, kitty cat!


I can’t stand a dirty rat, runnin’ ‘cross the room like that

And look at him, that rat is fat…fat and dirty, kitty cat!

Git him and I’ll tip my hat at awesome you, dear kitty cat.

Come on now, don’t be a brat, go and get that big fat rat!


Look at you, dear kitty cat!  You have caught the big fat rat!

Oh…but UGH, dear kitty cat!  Must you do the rat like that?

NO!  Don’t drop him where I sat!  UGH, but OH…not in my hat!

OW! MY TOE!!  The baseball bat, I’ve dropped upon it.  Naughty cat!

1 Comment

The Silent Poet

No, lately I have not had much to say.
Emotion swoops in, takes the words away.
I try to speak, hear only choking tears.
Heartsore, the aching place there burns and sears

as if a flaming spear pierced with its fire.                                                   
A whispered voice: “You’re doing better.” Liar!
My dear sweet cat wove with his little paws
a place that heals so slowly. How grief gnaws.

1 Comment







A trail of brambles, thickened vines, and thorns,
emotion tangles, sneers at me, and scorns
a restful sleep. Its choking hands grip tight
upon my usual demeanor. Fight

is what I have to do so I don’t fall
into a hole of black despair. A wall
of whooshing water, tears unbidden, come.
I sob without control, am stricken dumb

as I mourn my beloved, now gone, cat.
His absence makes me feel that someone’s bat
slammed hard upon my head. The silence here
makes so much noise, and sends a sharpened spear

into the soft recesses of my heart.
I feel it as if someone threw a dart
that found its target. I will not forget
my Snuggles. This remains my safest bet.



Today we bring our Snuggles home. Up on the ridge of the hill behind our house we have laid to rest Snuggles’ brother Cuddles, our Siamese cat Suki, another cat named Tiger, a rabbit named Friendly, and, believe it not, a fish. This afternoon Snuggles will join them. My husband and I will lay him to rest. Then, when our (very busy) grandchildren can come over we will have a little memorial service, and they are going to decorate Snuggles’ grave.

So this day will have its difficulties, too, but we must go through it. I am finding the house so quiet….no little meows, no crunching of food, no movement through the house at all. I look at the loveseat and the footstool in this room, two of the places he liked to curl up and sleep, but they are empty, so agonizingly empty.

This is going to take more time than I thought. Last night was the first time I was able to sleep without crying. We have removed his food bowls, his litter box, and the things that he used. It is as if we have taken away all vestiges of his years with us.

But no, that’s not possible. He isn’t here to use those things anymore. He is, however, here, here in our hearts. I can hear his meow. I think a cat’s meow is like a baby’s cry. There are many meanings to it. Snuggles would sometimes meow gently, as if sighing. He meowed differently, and more vociferously if he wanted more food in his bowl. If it was attention he wanted he climbed right up on us or rubbed up against us, sometimes pawing us, as if saying, “Pet me, pet me.” And we did. We always did. I loved the times when he and I played our little game of Echo. He meowed, in a certain way, and I repeated that to him. Then he echoed me, and on we went. He liked it when I held my hand in front of him, and he would press his face right into it, moving in such a way that he was sure to get his nose and ears rubbed.

Nineteen years. That’s a long time for a cat to live. Our vet told us a couple years ago that a cat’s natural life is between 16-18 years, or right around there. Snuggles exceeded that. And I hope we made his life easy, fun, comfortable, and joyful.

He certainly gave us hours and hours and hours of fun, comfort, and joy. We will always remember him and all the little things about him that made him unique. One of those things was the way he could stretch himself out to full length, paws in front, looking regal as a king. I used to call him “King Cat” then.

Godspeed, Snuggles. We love you, “Mr. Cat.”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,331 other followers

%d bloggers like this: