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Monday, January 27, 2014

Dreaming of Paris and Remembering Montmartre

I have been listless and more than a little down in the dumps lately.
The visit of my long-time friend Suzanne from London, Ontario, brightened my mood some, as we filled our time together with long talks, movies, shopping and eating at some of her favorite spots (mine, too!) But it has been cold and I have been gloomy and when I am I often think back to Paris. It felt like a good time to participate in Paulita's Dreaming of France party.
Because of the sadness in my heart, I suppose it made some sense to revisit the Montmartre Cemetery in Paris. Rick and I did this with "Peter's Paris" blogger Peter who was a terrific guide to not only the cemetery but to the area in general.
It was a rainy day as we walked by the graves of the famous and the ordinary. The rain made the stones deeper, richer in color. The flowers just "popped." (I believe this was composer Jacques Offenbach's grave.)
I can't hear the guitar music of Fernando Sor (which Rick will play on occasion) without thinking of seeing his resting place.
The sculpture was beautiful and poignant. It cried out with emotion, sorrow and grief.
This is my favorite photo from the trip. As you know, I love cats and there are generally more than a few roaming the cemeteries of Paris. But on this day, it was very rainy (think "April Showers," which capsulized our April in Paris.)
At the time we were in Paris, our Marmelade Gypsy was back home in Michigan, every day closer to his last. (We lost him about two weeks after we returned). I was having a lot of separation issues on that trip, for though I knew he was in safe hands, I also knew his health was very fragile, something that if I'd known when we booked the trip, we may not have gone at that time.
Eager to see one of the "cemetery cats," I was thrilled to find this one hiding on a shelf in an elaborate marker. I didn't dare get too close -- I didn't want to scare him. So I snapped the photo and thought little more about it. But when I saw the pictures later, I was entranced by both the memory and this handsome cat.
I didn't get another cat right after Gypsy died. I couldn't. But then a friend was fostering a mom-cat and her kittens and while the kittens were easy to place, Mom was less so. But I was willing to take her on.
Right now she is purring right beside me and every time I look at her I think of the Montmartre Cat. No, they aren't dead ringers for each other. But perhaps that cat imprinted its pretty black-and-white features on the heart of this soul who loves her orange cats. Maybe. Just maybe.

Postscript: For more on the beautiful statuary at Montmartre's cemetery, visit Peter's great post HERE.

27 comments:

Jeanie said...

I'm sorry to hear you have been down in the dumps lately. I hope it is mostly weather related and not something more serious. Thinking back to your Paris trip is a good way to take your mind to a happier place. I hope a little kitty love will bring at least a bit of cheer to your day.

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

Such a sweet and thoughtful post! I'm sorry you've been feeling down in the dumps, and I hope time and kitty love will help you feel better. Your photos are lovely. The French cat reminds me of our Waddles, who died two years ago. She was a black and white, half-Persian beauty and a sweet doll. I'll always miss her.

Mae Travels said...

I hope you are cheering up, though it looks like this weather is going to stay around for a while. I hope you'll post a Paris memory that's cheerier than the cemetery! How about some Paris music?

Marilyn said...

Such a lovely remembrance of Gypsy and of your visit to a special time in Paris. I would have loved walking there with you and now I feel that I have. Your sweet girl is such a cutie too.

Mary said...

Both kitties are wonderful and beautiful! I'm so happy you adopted the Mom cat. So many people like kittens better, but older cats are just so magnificent and full of personality, which of course, you know.

I'm sorry you've been feeling down. I send hugs across the miles. And btw, i love your photos of Paris. :)

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

An interesting post that I enjoyed reading. Some nice images.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

I need orange said...

They say travel opens our minds to options we wouldn't have considered, if we'd stayed home.........

Maybe your Montmartre cat is an example of exactly that.

Love the pic of Lizzie with the tulips! She's a beauty.

Bella Rum said...

My best friend just took in a cat whose "human mom" died. His days of adjustment are behind him and he seems content in his new home.

This statement reminds me of how optimistic you are, Jeanie: The rain made the stones deeper, richer in color. The flowers just "popped."

Anne Jeffries said...

I'm so sad to read that you are down. Long cold winters can't help and this newly initiated to cold CaliGirl shares a bit of that slump. Give Miss Cossette an extra cuddled and she'll purr right back, I'm sure.

Ruth Mowry said...

I'm sorry to hear about your doldrums. I've been thinking about Paris a lot lately myself, so coming here today is a treat. (and I love your background art, just gorgeous) I love seeing Peter and hope to meet him one day. It's been 8 years since my last trip, and I feel that the time to return is getting closer.

Your photos are superb, and that cemetery is a world of fascination.

Be well, be better.

Joanne Huffman said...

Sorry you're feeling low, it's been a depressingly cold and snowy winter. It's good you have such good memories and photos of Paris to help. And visits from old friends are always good. Take care of yourself.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I have been feeling down lately, too, and we share a reason for our down feelings. I do live in a much warmer climate where the sun comes out more so that does help, but not as much as I would like. I'm homesick and sad about difficult things friends are feeling with and I pine for easier times... but life moves on, I suppose.

I love the cemetery shots. I meant to get there on my last trip but then it didn't happen... guess that means I need to go back to Paris. :)

Peter Olson said...

This post really warmed my heart, bringing also to me the memories of some very nice moments I spent with you and Rick! I also noted that your pictures are of some of my favourtie graves, including the one of the woman, actually made by a mother, on the tomb of her 20 year old son. It was possibly the only statue she ever made.

You must be back for a new visit, on a sunny day ... when all the cats will be more easily visible!

Paulita said...

Jeannie, Sorry this never-ending winter is bringing you down. Thinking of Paris often improves my mood. These pictures are so interesting and I love the cat. Thanks for playing along today.

vicki (skiourophile) said...

Sending you some blazingly hot summer weather vibes, Jeanie (it was 40C today). I love that you took on the mother cat (even if she wasn't ginger; and I do love ginger cats surpassing all others) - that was such a kind thing to do.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Bonjour Jeanie,

I got notice of your new post rather late this morning, but here I am dear one.

I just cannot even begin to understand this sort of grief with a friend. I have lost parents, and that was wrenching, for when they leave, they take a part of you with them. I have lost other relatives, and that is surreal. I have never however, lost a pet; all of my pets either ran away or were given away! But to lose a friend? I can't bear this. To lose a friend as such would be like losing your own daily rhythm, like loosing a step in your walk...

Paris is a perfect place to mourn, to make joyful, to reflect, to grow. I hope that this trip will last a lifetime in your memory and know that one day.....we will all be reunited.

Anita

The Old Parsonage said...

Big Hugs coming your way my friend. I know a lot of friends who are feeling this way too. Maybe the weather, hope it gets better soon.

Stay warm and enjoy those Paris memories - love d seeing the photos!!

xo
Leann

Nancy said...

Those special pets that will hold a place in our hearts forever...I am sorry you are sad but it looks like your kitty with the beautiful tulips will give you lots of nudges....

The Artful Diva said...

Oh good - now we're FB friends (again!) I took a leave of absence for a while....

~*~Patty S said...

what a lovely post pouring out and sharing some of your sorrow...
I hope that doing so will lighten your load a bit (stumbling to find the words)...here is a quote of what I am trying to express...
"Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow”...
thank you for sharing
a trip to Paris and especially the cemetery there is wow!
warm (((hugs))) from frigid Virginia
oxo

shoreacres said...

I'm unsure of the reason for your feeling low - it seems perfectly reasonable to me that weather alone would be enough. I hope it's only that, for it will change, and in not such a long time.

I'm wondering about something. I went looking in your Paris posts for the photo of the bridge with the padlocks, and couldn't find it. Can you lay your hands on it? I need to refer to it in a post I'm going to write. Don't go to too much effort - I may be able to surfact it using Google, but I thought I'd ask in case you can find it easily.

Our freezing rain has stopped, and the little sparrows and my ONE goldfinch are flying again and eating. Tonight we may get into the upper 20s - so cold for us! - and then some warming comes. Sending much warmth your way, Jeanie!

shoreacres said...

Oh! Of course I know why else you might be feeling despondent - indeed, I do. Here's an extra hug, and hopes that the sorrow eases away soon.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

I'm glad you have a new soft sweetie to cheer you! We enjoyed haunting the cemetery's of Paris looking for famous writers. Fascinating places. Thanks for the good word on my shop!

Arti said...

Jeanie, I think we all need to have some 'Walter Mitty ' daydreaming in the depth of a cold winter. I remember your trip to Paris and the wonderful photos you'd posted. Thanks for the revisit. Hope your weather will improve soon. We're having nasty snow and wind today. Great time to go blog hopping.

Cheryl said...

Now how can you be feeling gloomy with that little love of a cat sitting next to you. It think your needing a few more cats! Oh yes, a lot more cats. I have lets count... um... seven.... and I am the happiest person you'd ever want to meet! lol... now get busy and get some fur babies missy!
big hugs,
Cheryl

Tamara said...

lovely post. Sending you warm Aussie thoughts. Remembering Paris is a beautiful way of taking care of yourself. Lovely photo's mean we can all remember our time there too. Take care :)

Esme said...

It is always sad to remember those we loved. I hope thinking of Paris has given you something to smile about.

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