A Poem in Which Mountie Appears

I am deeply sad to share that my sweet Mountie passed away last Thursday evening, February 2.  I have been attending to my grief mostly by crying and napping and rearranging furniture, but I did get out for a walk around Greenlake the other day with my friend Robyn, who reassured me that I could cry under my sunglasses and no one would notice. Walking, I have found, is quite helpful as grief can create a sort of glue for the body, mind, and heart — and it’s easy to feel stuck or at least sticky at the edges.

I am sure that I will have more Mountie posts and more posts about the ways I am processing such loss, but for now I am going to share a poem I wrote in 2010 in which Mountie appears. This poem reminds me of three things: 1) Loss is interconnected, 2) Beauty can happen even when you’re in the shower looking at the world through foggy glass, and 3) Mountie was 100% authentic, empathetic, sincere, and generous of spirit.


Through the shower’s foggy glass,
I spot my night self heaped in a pile—
my gray t-shirt and blue-striped pajama
bottoms crumpled like a winter flower—
and remember last night’s nightmare,
of my father dying all over again,
the adrenaline sweat’s sickly sweet
stain left on my clothes—
and then I spot my cat approaching,
sniffing the pajama puddle.
He circles twice before settling
in the center, then begins to knead
the little heap with his claws, rubs
his nose into my shirt’s armpit,
and sleeps right there, in the remnants
of my terror, content to be in it,
for I am somehow comfort and he can smell it –
beneath the taste of panic’s tang,
despite the nighttime tremors
that sometimes shake him right off the bed,
I am still the one who he adores,
I am still the one who smells of love.

Courtney Putnam, c. 2010


About Courtney Putnam

I first came to healing work through art and writing. Creating collage art and poetry in particular allowed me to deeply understand the benefit of self-expression in the healing process. But, I also began to see the benefit of bodywork (manual work in the form of massage and energywork in the form of Reiki) as keys to unlocking the emotional stresses we hold in our bodies. I became a Reiki practitioner in 2002, received an MFA in Creative Writing in 2003, received my massage license in the spring of 2006, and became a Reiki Master in 2010. In my practice I bring together these three areas -- the body, the mind, and the spirit (or energy body) -- so others may experience profound and positive change in their lives.
This entry was posted in Animals, grief and loss, healing, inspiration, life lessons, personal growth and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A Poem in Which Mountie Appears

  1. So beautiful Courtney. My deep sympathy–more like empathy, as I sit here crying in my coffee. Thank you for sharing your ‘stickiness around the edges.’

  2. Tele says:

    My thoughts are with you and Mountie, Courtney. This is a lovely honoring of your lives together.

  3. nicole says:

    yeah… the loss of our animal companions hits hard. It is a special bond and keep doing what you need to do to heal. big hug 🙂

  4. deb says:

    beautiful, as ever, c. our loves depart but their spirits swirl around us, help us through the darkness back into the light. sending you love love love.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. 😦

  6. What a beautiful poem. I’m sorry for your sorrow.

  7. Pingback: Realization | The Healing Nest Blog

  8. Thank you all for your compassion, empathy, and support. I feel so much gratitude.

  9. Jill Sheldon says:

    Amazing the way our creatures see (and smell) right through the fear to the love. What an incredible spirit Mountie was, and so fortunate to have you.

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