for those who have gone on, and those who stayed behind to soften the hurt,
and give their love.
I can still feel the soft velvet of your paw, the tickle of whiskers, that warm rasp of tongue as you decided I needed a bath. I miss the gentle rumble of your purr, the comfort of snuggle times, the silkiness of your fur. I know you've come back on occasion; I can feel you. Are you waiting for someone? Or have you come back to let me know everyone's okay? Once in a while, I find a picture of you by accident, and then remember how you hated a bath, that you loved tomato paste, and catnip was your idea of heaven. Sometimes, I forget you're not here and call another cat by your name. They look at me, astounded, that I could make such a mistake. I feel the tears start, and I try to tell myself that you're okay. Yes, I say, there are warm breezes, sunshine, butterflies, and green grass where you are. The others are there with you, so you're not completely alone, wandering and wondering. Is Megan okay? You remember that she was blind. And Patches and Phaedra...they were both deaf. Take care of Topaz, she's always been so frightened...she never knew humans could be kind. Amerber, my little earth mother...have they given you kittens to nurture and love? I'm sure Snow is bossing everyone around. He did here, why stop now? Annabel Lee, you know in your soul we didn't abandon you. We had no choice, you could have infected the kittens and they would have died. Dear beloved Annabel, my heart still hurts when I say your name. I can't stop the tears when I think of you. I can steel feel your coat, soft as bunny fur, under my fingers. Your sister Emily is so very much like you, it's painful to look at her. Caesar, my very first cat....dearly loved and missed so much. G.G. - you fought so hard to live for the short time you blessed us. I know God holds you in his hand and has a special place for such a brave little cat. Ragamuffin...I knew you briefly, but those sad, golden eyes spoke eloquently of your pain. I'm sorry you didn't find me sooner, maybe I could have saved you. And you, Mouse, are you still stealing dog food and hiding it? Black Cat, Gnu and Smoke, separated for a while in life, but no longer. I tried to keep you together, but Smoke had learned not to trust. I hope you've finally found peace and warmth, Bandit. I wanted to hold you and let you know it was okay to come in from the cold. You didn't give me time. Oliver misses you Smudge. He's so big and beautiful. You wouldn't recognize him now; the constantly hungry little guy has grown into a hungry big guy. Moon, I know you're with your mother Mattie, and your sister Annabel Lee. I'm sorry you had to find them so soon. We were just getting to be friends. Katie, I hope you're running through the water you so dearly loved to play in here. How you loved being held in the shower! Coco, my loyal and protective wolf friend. I feel privileged to have shared my live and my home with you. Sometimes, God grants our secret wishes in small ways, and He gave me you. Ah, Yuri. You willingly shared Charlie with me, knowing I wouldn't hurt him or you. You offered me your devotion and love. How could I not accept so precious a gift?
I know some of you will look and not see your names mentioned here. Have I forgotten so quickly? Don't I love you as much as those whose names are written? My precious fur angels! How could you think I don't love you? If I could, I would reverse time, so we could once again share the happiness and love. Your faces are as clear to me as if it were yesterday and you were here, asking for dinner and demanding to be petted. I can barely see through my tears to write this. All of you brought light, life and joy to me. I cherish the memories of your love and trust. We've planted flowers and trees in honor of your memories. Every spring and summer, the sadness is softened by the beauty that blooms. As I look out my windows, I am reminded of each and every one of you. My dear little friends, know that I keep you in my heart. As long as I remember your names, you will never be forgotten, or replaced. One day, we will all be together in the sunshine, warm breezes, and green meadows. Until that time, you are missed....and loved....always loved.
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