The vet asked if I wanted to stay with my cat
when they put her to sleep. I said no, at first,
and then I changed my mind and went in.
She was just lying there, on that stark,
white table – trust in those slit, green eyes
staring me in the face.
I’d make her better – make her hind legs
work again. I’d take her back – she’d
jump on my lap and then I’d give her
her tea. The vet said it was for the best
and, even though he didn’t realise,
it was just as much his cat as mine.
He used to live in a cottage – four
doors down, so the neighbours said
when I moved in. And then, one divorce
and one nervous breakdown later
he couldn’t cope any more, moved on;.
recovered, obviously, but the cat
didn’t have a home for ten months,
until I took her in one Halloween.
I put my head next to hers; it would take
only a moment, he said, as if that wasn’t
forever, and oh...did I want to take her home.
There was no flinch, no cry, no moan;
only the weight of her in my arms,
and then on my heart, and his.