Tuesday, September 26, 2023



It’s been some years since we observed a variation of Sukkot, the holiday where Jews are advised to dwell in huts as our ancestors did while on the way to the promised land.


Contemplating this year’s upcoming Sukkot and whether I have the energy to make a Sukkah again, I happened to come upon an old photo. It reminded me of a feline family friend who has left this earth long ago. Clyde was not our cat. He lived next door. When his family moved a mile away up the hill, he kept returning. Not to his old home, but to ours.


We even found him sleeping in our makeshift Sukkah. We always returned him to his new home, and he continued to make his way back to ours.

One of these trips may have cost him his life. He was found dead, possibly injured. I tried to answer one of my kids as to whether cats have souls and go to heaven by writing about him:



©By Mirka M. G. Breen


            Clyde is climbing a great green hill.

            The grass under his paws is as soft as fur. It’s tingly wet, and smells of catnip.

            The light is soft blue, no sun yet.

Clyde passes every mouse he ever ate. The mice wave at him.

Birds he had watched, fly over and wink.

Squirrels he had chased puff their tails

No time to think. Up Clyde must go.

Yes, this is so.

Clyde still climbs the green hill.

The grass is deeper, the hill steeper. But the higher he climbs, the lighter his steps.

He’s not hot; he’s not cold. Light’s turning gold.

A purple butterfly flutters before him. Clyde’s trotting, then pouncing.

One butterfly soars, and then a hundred more-

In every color, with spots and dots

In a ribbon-dance the butterflies flow.

Yes, this is so.


Clyde is bounding up the glistening green.

When the moss grows dark, a cloud heavy with steel gray covers the light.

Clyde slows. What to do? He squints, then pulls through.

A line of pure silver is guiding him on. The cloud turns to vapor.

The blue of the air, gentle light everywhere-

Give power from nose to tail.

Clyde faces toward the glow.

Yes, this is so.

Clyde climbs some more, the hill, green as hope.

The air caressing his ears with gentle fluffing strokes. Cat music is sounding.

His mother and father are mewing above

Clyde turns his head back one last time.

 The people he loves look at him with wet eyes: they are wise.

Balls of yarn left below, adventures above.

Clyde has to go

We think this is so.


Sukkot this year falls on September 29-October 6



Evelyn said...

A lovely story.

Vijaya said...

Oh Mirka, such a lovely tribute for Clyde. I do believe our beloved pets are in heaven. However, I also believe that we have to practice complete detachment--to love the Lord above everything else. No tears or sorrow in heaven because we will finally understand the ways of God.

MirkaK said...

So poignant.

Elizabeth Varadan said...

I like this so much!

Elizabeth Varadan said...


Sue said...

Poor kitty.

I remember seeing my first Sukkah's when we moved to Highland Park, NJ in 1986.

Barbara Etlin said...

Beautiful. *sniff*

Today would have been my mother's birthday.

This reminds me of an original Twilight Zone episode, where an old man and his old dog wander and come to a sparkly gate and music and laughter. "You can come in but your dog can't." "Sorry, I'm not going anywhere my dog can't." They wander some more and come to a shabby gate. "Welcome!" "What about my dog?" "Yes, both of you. We've been waiting for you!" "What about that other gate?" "That one was hell."

Mirka Breen said...

Nice one, Barbara. I missed The Twilight Zone era in the USA and saw very few episodes. I would have liked that one.