|About a cat
There was a loss.
Not of a grandparent,
not of a parent or sibling,
but a little being who was
a part of everything,
whose death meant the irrevocable end
of some kind of light within.
what I felt, how deeply I felt it
about a cat; a grey-striped, salmon-nosed,
40-green-eyed cat named Tee-ber.
I’d noticed the decline,
but denied all evidence that
the end of the road was near.
There is no need to note the signs;
we’ve all seen them, all wished they would disappear.
They never do.
He used to curl his pulsing paw around my finger;
I loved that.
No one understood my grief, incredulous
that I could be undone by the death of a cat.
But, you see, he had accepted all my moods,
knowing when to restate his claim by bunting my chin
or blinking his temperate kisses.
Not as needy as a dog, not as eager to impress,
his affection was more pure, in a way,
as it did not rely upon my approval.
The hole I was in; I could not claw my way out.
The ensuing grief of these deaths,
which others do not understand,
is augmented by that very lack of understanding.
They seemed to be ashamed of my sorrow,
made me feel like I was unhinged to be feeling it.
But, I still feel it, you see.
It lessens, but it is on me like a faded, jagged scratch.
I still dream of him, all these years after,
and in them he is in his leaping prime,
purring madly, his paw still curled around my finger.