Sisu of Kaleva

It must be hard to be almost dead
when the only thing sassy and sumptuous
is vanishing faster than you can breathe.

Tomorrow grows vacuous and absurd.

Violet memories slather your vision
with short vibrant breaths—
single moments that shine in your life.

A spread of final. vivacious. splashes.

A cheek on the top of your head—
your grand finale.


Desperation grows pointless under death’s auspicious power.


Brenda Warren 2013


I love you such my boy.


Visit The Sunday Whirl

43 thoughts on “Sisu of Kaleva

  1. Our pets become no less than family members, so yes, your assumption of this holding true for humans is spot-on, Brenda. I appreciate the tenderness and wistful quality of this vigil. The “cheek” thing got to me. Wonderful work!


  2. In the end, all we really can give them is that final cuddle and reassurance as we send them on their way. When we remember that every day with our little friends is a gift, there is sadness at parting, but no regret. Cherish your happy memories.


  3. Some wear their heart on their sleeve. You pour it into your pen and then share it with all of us. You made these words both beautiful and full of meaning, gave them depth and a richness they might otherwise lack. Death is a difficult write at best, but you have opened eyes and hearts with this one. He is a gorgeous animal, Brenda and I’m glad he has graced your life and days with his presence. My thoughts are with both of you.. blessings.



    • Thank you for your blessing and kind words, Elizabeth. I’m grateful for the time we’ve had with Sisu, too. He’s been a light in my life. Your comment is kind. I’ve always worn my heart on my sleeve, so it makes sense that it would flow into my work here, too. 🙂


  4. OH! this poem literally took my breathe away – I realized I was holding it as I read – it again and again and exhaled on the third reading as I was staring into the eyes of your beautiful cat. Bon Voyage and WOW that “cheek on the top …” a truly “grand finale” send-off… Love given and love received -comfort at the end of the journey – no creature nor person could possibly ask for more – wish you both well – on this final passage


    • Thanks, De. I like the first line, too. Sisu was sitting on my lap, and I thought it, so I used it then chased Mrs. Cron’s words into this piece. It’s easy to build tension in a piece about death using words like vibrant, vivacious, and sumptuous. The words were perfect because they describe that huge young cat who ruled the roost for a time.


  5. My daughter recently lost her cat of 12 years. Last week, she was given a new kitty. She doesn.t replacte the lost one, but it is so much nicer to live in a house with a kitty in it.
    (I also have Maine Coon. Very affectionate)


    • Nice to know you have a Maine Coon. They are the best, Sisu thinks he’s a dog, and he’s so persistent for affection. He used to be a monster. Now he’s a puff of air. We have three other cats. Sisu and his mom Annie are Maine Coons. Annie’s getting crippled up a bit, but she’s 16. She’s healthy other than her awkward gait. Hazel and Mission, are both over 10.

      If you come back and read …..What color is your Maine Coon? Sisu’s mom, Annie, is a blue. Sisu is a silver classic tabby. He was a beauty when he was young. So handsome and elegant, but such a goof.


    • It is hard, Annell. May our boys go quietly in their sleep when its time. That’s my hope for Sisu…that I wake and find him still. I almost called the vet to put him down on Friday, then he rallied, and seems to enjoy his day again. I don’t want him to suffer, and don’t want to call the vet too soon. We have a mobile vet in town who will come into the home to put the animal down. That seems so much kinder than one last trip to the vet, especially when cars stress out our cats so intensely.


    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts OE. Your comment got me thinking…. When we dream of tomorrow, knowing that our end is near, are we still there in that tomorrow of our dreams, or is it the world without us we see? I suppose I won’t know that for myself until I face it.


  6. An honor to know this amazing creature through you friend. Next time you ask me to share words I will keep a clear thought in my mind and heart for something filled with laughter and love, not the waiting call of a heavenly place and a lingering soul.


    • Thank you, Daphne. Sisu is a silver Maine Coon. I would have loved to show him when he was a young cat, but the breeding associations don’t allow you to show polydactyls as they see it as a deformity. Both Sisu and his mother, Blue Annie of Dirigo have seven toes on their feet. Sisu is dwindling, but keeps rebounding….it’s like watching the swells and low points of the sea. Blue Annie is almost 16 and it’s starting to show in her gait.

      When Sisu was young I called him “Zen Kitty,” because he gave the present moment his full attention.


      • I love polydactyls! Anyway, may Sisu continue to rebound for as long as he wants!! And cats do give the present everything–we have so much to learn from them. Thanks again for sharing!


    • Thank goodness that’s behind you, Viv. While I wrote this piece for Sisu, my dwindling cat, I thought it might resonate for people. I’m please you could relate to it, but am sorry for the reason. Write in good health, my friend.


share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s