I love writing but the poem I wrote entitled Caitlin and Misty is the one that is the most emotionally charged and I found most cathartic.
The Caitlin and Misty book
I used to help care for an incredibly brave young woman called Caitlin who had a progressive neurological disease though how she coped with her profound disability was inspirational . At the time I’m writing this we are in our third lockdown but Caitlin experienced being confined to her bedroom for so much of her teenage life and did not complain once. She was always interested in others and raised £32,000 for Eyegaze which help children who have disabilities to use computers that are specifically designed to use with only their eyes.
I had discussed writing a book about Misty with Caitlin but it didn’t come to anything although Caitlin was very happy to cast her critical eye on my drawings of Misty that I did whilst sitting with her!
A sketch of Misty sitting on Caitlin
Very sadly Caitlin passed away when she was only 17 and unfortunately I was unable to go to the funeral because I had just had an operation .
Whilst recuperating at home and thinking about Caitlin and wanting to remember all the incredible attributes of this special young woman, this poem evolved.
It is about the amazing bond between a bed bound girl and her cat ; Misty, who was her constant companion . One particular response that I highlighted was Misty’s reaction when Caitlin sang with Misty nuzzling cheek to Caitlin’s cheek.
Of course I wanted Caitlin’s family to feel it did justice to Caitlin and fortunately they loved it !
I illustrated the verse with pencil sketches of Caitlin and Misty with proceeds from the sale of the first edition going to The Graeae Theatre Company which champions diversity across the sector and boldly places disabled artists centre stage ; a company close to Caitlin’s heart.
To read it at the memorial service to celebrate Caitlin’s life was a privilege as was the opportunity for me to get to know this amazing young woman.
Caitlin and Misty is for sale at £5.00 per book.