Ode to a soul cat gone too soon

giovanna-gomes-2o04p_lVOfY-unsplash-copy Ode to a soul cat gone too soon soul cat human animal bond

Dear cat lover,

If you’ve ever lost a soul cat, you will appreciate the depth of love and grief the poet Deva describes for her beloved Benji. You will recognize feeling how precious the time we have with them is.

And if you’ve ever lost a cat suddenly and unexpectedly, you will feel understood and less alone.

Let’s cherish the ones we love while they’re here.

– Liz (editor)

Love you, every day

by Deva De Silva

You waited patiently,
until I sat outside,
our front porch, your room
where an old leather sofa sat,
its arms tattered by your claws,
a place you’ve owned,
over the nine years you lived.

You waited patiently
until I sipped my morning coffee,
before settling on my lap firmly
or sprawling beside me contently,
snuggling close, begging for love,
purring loudly in my ears,
affirming your unconditional love.

Today, you weren’t that patient,
lunging at me, the moment I sat,
nudging me, with your cold nose
as if to warn me that
you hadn’t much time left,
unheeding my protests,
pouring your love,
unrestrained.

Cold air tickling my nose,
made me sneeze out loud,
spilling hot coffee on me,
unsettling me for a second.
Startled by the chaos it made,
you ran away,
and I,
went about my day.

How I wish, we could redo,
our morning ritual, once again.
I’ll cuddle you, caress you,
and say over-and-over-again,
how much you mean to me.

Now that you are gone,
felled in the road,
in front of our home,
you looked as if, sunbathing,
as you always did,
when the sun warmed the ground.

I wailed my heart out,
holding you in my arms,
in a muted world around us.
Burying my face in your fur,
basking in your warmth,
I finished our ritual, anew.
Loving you, caressing you,
telling you over-and-over-again
what you meant to me.

I held you in my arms,
on our old sofa – tattered,
until our sun went down,
Just like that, heartlessly,
you were taken from me,
leaving me in a darkness,
never known.

You slept peacefully, unknowing,
my deepest fears realized,
my deepest regrets unleashed,
my deepest sorrows, shrieked.
You were lost to this world
without a beating heart,
without a chest rising, falling,
without joyous life flowing,
warming your velveteen paws.

Now you lay peacefully,
angelic among flowers,
dahlias from our garden,
and a white gladiola stem,
you pawed at playfully,
with joyful intent, today
your tail upright,
tremoring and twirling,
springing back and forth,
in your spirited paws.
A gleeful episode unfolding,
in your normal cat life.
Cutting my flowers today,
for the first time, I cried.

Now, you lay under,
our weeping beech tree,
its pendulant branches,
straining, framing,
gently embracing,
your earthly resting place
where you often lurked,
among birds’ siren screams,
warnings of your presence,
patrolling the grounds,
proudly lording over,
squirrels, rabbits, and skunks.

Now, you lay under,
two wooden logs, stacked up
that made our shady seat,
where we sat outside,
on warmer, sunnier days,
in glaring summer heat
where we’ll always sit together
with you, now,
two feet underground.

You never left my side,
when I tended our gardens
until darkness fell over,
and it was time to retreat
to lounging together,
ending a gardening day
with you sprawled on my lap,
finding a sense of peace together,
in calming night sounds.

Now, I long for your return,
in any form, you may wish,
any time, you may pick,
for the rest of my days,
I’ll wait patiently as you did.
I’ll know when we meet
I’ll sense your wild spirit
And love you once again,
everyday of my life.

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7 Comments

  1. Beautiful. Poetry and words could be a source of relief when they are leaving us. We love them so much…

  2. This is a recurring nightmare that I have – one of my precious babies (who NEVER leave the inside), hit by a car, dying, wondering where I am, why I wasn’t there to protect him, why I’m not there holding him as he dies. I’m crying just reliving that nightmare now. My deepest sympathy to this poet, actually living my nightmare.

  3. I’ve had the same experience and it’s bloody horrific. I never let a cat go outside without me and a harness and leash, ever again.