A Short Tale about a Short Tail.

As I prepare for our move at the moment I have renovators, plumbers, painters, tilers and electricians in and out of my space all banging, drilling, chopping and discussing; while I “peacefully” pack my belongings: sorting, sifting, throwing out and keeping the bare essentials. It sounds busy yet I do make time to sit, think and have a cup of tea. When I do this our family cat, Pangaea (Pani for short) comes to sit on me for company.

This got me thinking: Pani has a story I can tell you about. She was once a very adventurous and agile cat, a skinny thing skimming along in the tree tops and roof tops. She liked to be high up. Our tree is five or six meters tall. On hot balmy days or icy cold ones too, if I went outside, I would hear a high pitched mew in the tree top. As my eye searched for her she’d be peering down at me intensely. Then she’d do this thing: alternately rubbing her chin, then her ears fast on the branch while her body followed her movement. How she stayed up I don’t know. She would make my heart flip-flop in fear of her falling down but she never did.

One day my daughter called out, “Mommy, come, see how Pani is sitting”. She was on a soft sofa cushion basically upside down. We laughed, but soon realized she was in pain. We took a closer look and saw that her tail seemed broken. The vet said that she would survive but her tail would have to come off. She now has a 2 cm tail, no longer climbs the trees, and mutters whenever she hears a door creek in the breeze. We suspect that it was the door that attacked her tail. She still leads a happy life, although changed.

When she lost her tail she was in pain and even after for quite a while she was to be treated very gentle otherwise she would lash out. This is how I feel. My possessions and home are my tail and I am in the process of letting go of it. I am saying goodbye to a season past. It is painful and some days I “loose” it emotionally but I know after the loss and mourning there is a new season waiting for us in Scotland. I am looking forward to it; that is what moving entails: losing our tails.  

Take care

41 thoughts on “A Short Tale about a Short Tail.

  1. I felt that way when I moved from the UK to Canada. A new adventure awaited us there; but our memories are tied into place as well so letting go of what has become our roots creates a genuine and deep sense of loss. Are you moving to Scotland?

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    • Yes that’s so true 58 years worth of memories and traditions. We are moving to Scotland, first for 2 years but the idea is to retire there as my daughters have both moved to the UK. I have lots of cousins in the UK as my father came from Scotland. The weather will be quite a change for us.

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      • I imagine both the weather and the culture will be quite a change. A massive upheaval for you and your husband, and a multitude of losses. But perhaps it’s good for us to hang on that spirit of adventure throughout the whole of life. You are inspiring ❤️ My mum lives in the Borders and my daughter and son-in-law live in London. Other relatives are spread across the UK. All the best with the preps for the move.

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  2. Great story, which reminds me of a cat we looked after in the 1960s. We always had cats but one day someone knocked on our front door holding a poor moggy in their arms: “Is this your cat?” No, but you’d better bring him in. And so this was Bart, and he was only a kitten and the tip of his tail was bent at right angles. We put him by the kitchen stove where it was warm wondering what to do when he crawled under the stove and that is where he stayed for many days. He did actually remain with us but he was a bit of a rascal, definitely not a lap cat. We never did find out how his tail had been bent! He lived happily with us for some years until one day he disappeared, never to return. A real character!

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  3. Morag, I know that feeling just too well … though we did not move to another country, but scaled down and move out of the city to a small town. We lived in our house in Cape Town for almost 20 years and lots of memories were made there … but now, new memories are made … and in the end, home is where your heart is (or your loved ones) 💌.
    Good luck with sorting out, packing up and all the emotional stress going with that xx

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  4. Thank you for sharing this story. Poor Pani! But like you said, she still has a happy life despite the loss and change. A beautiful analogy for what you’re experiencing with the big move. I know it’s not an easy process to say goodbye and have to sort through so many memories all at once. keep making time to pause and have that cup of tea ♡

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  5. Thank you for sharing such a great story! Wishing you lots of blessings on your new journey ahead! Best wishes with everything you need to get through, the packing, goodbyes and of course the ton of emotions that you will experience too 🌸💕

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    • Thank you, there will be all that to face… it is going to be a 2 part move… First out of our house by the end of November and into our granny flat, then we will rent the house out from January while we stay in our granny flat for 6 months. Then afterwards when we leave we will rent that out as well. So firstly we are doing renovation work and throwing out. My goodness I have have a lot of writing I did since I was 12 years old 😳😳😳 And I am 58 now, the bulk of it is not electronic… And either I will scan it or toss it. It is quite cathartic seeing how my values and ideas have changed over the years. Thankfully I can see that I have grown. Thank you for your wishes. 🌺💐🌹

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  6. With all the very best wishes for your move Morag – it must be a testing time, and though you might be ‘losing your tail’ you’re not losing your heart or soul. Plus you’ll be gaining the closeness to your daughters and family and a whole lot of new adventures. (You can always fly out to southern Spain, where I am, for some summer heat!)
    Wishing you all the best, and looking forward to hearing how it all goes for you. xxx

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    • I love that… I am not losing my head or my heart 👍and I will be gaining family and a lot more. Ooh I would love to fly out to Spain for some summer heat😊. It would be all part of the adventure. Thank you for your wishes. I will definitely keep you posted xxx

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  7. The analogy with Pani is perfect. It happens so naturally with every shifting. During every transfer exercise, we faced similar situation, what to take, what to discard. Anyway, all the best wishes for your new life at Scotland.😊💐💖

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  8. getting rid of our tails sometimes hurts, and sometimes getting rid of the pain is more important than the tail.
    we just have to wait and see and hope and believe that removing of the tails are of benefit to us in the end.

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  9. Wow! you are moving all the way from Australia to Scotland!? That is a major move for sure. Downsizing is a difficult thing. We did it ten years ago when we moved here, but I started volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and began bringing items home from time to time!
    Hope your move goes smoothly and you find the new challenges enriching!
    Dwight

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  10. Wow, that was a deep and lovely write! I hate that the cat had to lose a tail, it must have been painful on so many levels but I love how you drew a parallel with your current situation. I hope the move goes well and Scotland ends up being everything you wish it to be !❤️

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