Bring It On

“Read this aloud,” says Dad, eyes lit up and pointing an obituary cut out from the paper and taped to the wall beside him.

“This was Dad’s favourite poem:” it begins.

Taeja, my niece, has mentioned a poem Dad asks her to read aloud when she passes through the room.


Home for the weekend, it’s my turn to perform.

“Oh the whiskey was spilled on the bar-room floor

And the bar was closed for the night.

A little grey mouse came out of his hole in the floor

To dance in the pale moonlight.

He lapped up the whiskey on the bar-room floor

And back on his haunches he sat.

And all through the night, you could hear him roar,

“Bring on the goddamn cat!”

I laugh while reading the last line. Dad’s ready and waiting to join me.

The next morning, I listen from bed as Lynn and Taeja’s boyfriend, James, take their turns reading the poem aloud in the other room. And like me, I hear them each break into a laugh while reading aloud the final line. Dad joins in right behind them.

It hits me, Dad’s joy at witnessing a joke trigger laughter in another person.

A comedic storyteller, he respects and appreciates the man and his family who chose to inspire laughter at a time of loss and grief.


“You’ve got to keep your sense of humour,” says Dad.

He works hard to keep his.

So bring on the goddamn cat!




About Morbid Optimist

My name is Katryna Mary Brooke Ormiston. I am 35 years old and after living in Vancouver for a decade, I am returning home to my 81 year old father’s hobby farm on Vancouver Island to care for him in the final stages of his life. This blog is to document my journey, process my experiences along the way and hopefully share and feel connected to a community beyond the three and a half acres I find myself on. A message in a bottle in the cyber-sea.
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