There were never such green and wide
Catseyes as our cat’s eyes.
The hearing went. Those eyes
stayed big and wide, attentive. The ears
were dappled pink and black inside.
She loved it when you grabbed them gently,
Squeezed, then released them.
She’d shake her head, then come back for more.
She climbed on your lap each night
rubbed against your book, your laptop.
We joked she thought you were her mother.
She cried all the way to the animal clinic.
She couldn’t hear herself.
Her weight had fallen by another half-pound.
We could see her skeleton under her three-colored coat.
We remembered when she was plump,
when she deposited voles and small rabbits
on the back stoop, little presents.
Lately she slept, made a running start for the bed,
Grunt-growling as she catapulted onto the quilt.
She cried for reasons we didn’t know,
peed where she shouldn’t, made two-minute visits outside
twice, three, four times a night.
Today we laid her on the handmade quilt
Light green and white, plump with batting.
She rested on the cold steel table in
the examining room. The first shor
sedated her. Those bright eyes stayed wide open.
We stroked her head, her back,
her pink and black paw pads.
The vet gave the second shot. We waited,
teary. He slid the stethoscope onto his ears,
touched it to her middle and said, “She’s gone.”
He gently closed her catseyes.
She lay as if napping.
You bent to kiss her small head, then turned,
picked up the empty pet carrier. We
slipped out the back door.
Reprinted from A New Ulster, Issue 39, December 2015