POEMS FOR THOSE WHOSE CATS HAVE 'GONE BEFORE'.


DESDEMONA'S PRAYER TO BAST.
(S L Smith)

As I lay me down to sleep
I pray to Bast my soul to keep,
And should I die before I wake,
I pray to Bast my soul to take,
And transport it to the sandy lands
Where my forbears worshipped were,
Where my ancient kin were much revered
And where the cat first learned to purr.

As I pad on velvet feet
I pray Bast will give me mice to eat,
And as I use my litter tray
I ask that she will find me play,
In her bright heaven where all cats,
Are stroked by Bast's most blessed hands,
And bask and gambol in her care,
Remembering Egypt's ancient sands.

As I knead upon your knees,
I hope that Bast is greatly pleased
To see her child at rest and play,
Fed and cared for every day,
And when I reach that glorious place
And gaze upon her feline face,
I'll ask that Bast will grant you grace
To join me in eternal play.


DESDEMONA'S FAREWELL TO EARTH
(S L Smith)

Farewell familiar Earth, I am no longer prone
To Earthly gravity which weighs down frail flesh and bone;
My soul is lighter than the feather which on the scales of justice lies,
And now I dance on sunbeams beyond Earth's cloud-studded azure skies.

A far more sad farewell I bid to those who loved me well,
For while I dance light-pawed in paradise, my absence brings them hell,
Do not prolong your sadness, for I know that ere too long we'll meet again,
And you can rest assured that I'm gone far beyond all suffering or pain.

Do not feel guilty, or think that I have felt betrayed,
Because you had to lend a helping had to ease me towards my grave,
And do not feel that you betray me when you take a new cat to your heart,
You will need mortal feline company to fill the time while we remain apart.

Farewell familiar Earth, I am no longer prone,
To the pain of age, and cancers which in my flesh had grown,
Now I dance on sunbeams beyond those broad cerulean skies,
And betimes I will gaze down upon you, with gentle, loving, emerald eyes.


DESDEMONA REORGANISES PURRADISE TO HER LIKING
(S L Smith)

In purradise shall I decree
A stately castle built for me,
Where plump and juicy mice will crawl,
And cower 'neath my velvet paw.
A cat-bed, four-poster in design,
Stuffed with swansdown shall be mine
With catnip scented pillows laid
Whereon to rest my feline head.

Foamy whiteness, creamy sweet,
Shall fill the bowl wherefrom I eat,
And meats laid upon a silver tray,
Shall be presented through the day -
With breast of pheasant, tongue of lark,
Laid before me should I ask,
All washed down with catnip wine,
If I but ask, it shall be mine.

No litter tray my rump demeans,
However scented, though so clean,
But golden sands and honest earth,
So my paws shall dig fresh dirt,
A screen of grasses shall provide
A private place for me to hide
When to my toilet I attend,
In these fields Elysian.

Birds shall fly away no more,
But perch upon my upraised paw,
Until I grow tired of their song,
And in one bite they shall be gone.
And fish and mice shall give me play,
Should I desire the hunt or chase,
Before I settle down replete
With all the fancies I would eat.

In purradise shall I decree
A stately castle built for me.


FAREWELL TO DESDEMONA
(S L Smith)
This poem came to the author during a dream. On waking she wrote the words out exactly as she heard them in the dream. She dreamt that she and her cat were walking along a path in a summer garden. Desdemona strayed from the path onto the grass the author could not follow her.

Summer sun slants gold across the garden,
The smell of roses carries on the breeze,
Desdemona lies a-doze upon the warm grass,
Too tired to chase the butterflies and bees;
Her fur is glowing golden in the bright rays,
Her ears alert to birdsong in the trees,
The year is drawing closer now to autumn,
Desdemona, on the summer lawn, now takes her ease.

Autumn leaves are falling, red and golden,
To lie like a russet carpet on the ground,
But Desdemona is no longer there to chase them,
As autumn's breezes make them dance around;
She lies snug beneath that summer lawn,
At rest, asleep forever in the ground,
For her, this year there is no glowing autumn,
For me, the leaves are crimson like a wound.

Now winter frosts and snows bejewel the garden,
It is a winter we must spend apart,
The snow lies thick and white, a frigid carpet,
And icicles are daggers in my heart.
Desdemona now knows not of winter,
For her the summer never reached an end,
She now lies in the earth and in my memory,
Waiting for the day we meet again.

 

DESDEMONA'S LEGACY
(S Hartwell)

I bequeath my favorite cat bed
To the cat who comes after me,
I sleep now in a bed of clouds,
Softer than earthly fleece.

To the cats who follow after,
I bequeath my favorite toys,
My beat up mouse, my feather wand,
The things that gave me joy.

To the cats who follow in my wake,
I leave my bowl and dish,
And hope that they'll be ever-full
Of milk and meat and fish.

To the cats who tread my paw-prints
In your many years to come,
I leave my secret hideaways
And my places in the sun.

I know that there'll be others,
And to them I now bequeath,
The cuddles, strokes and kind words,
This is my legacy.

I know it won't be right away,
The wound in your heart is raw,
But I'm certain there'll be others
To follow in my paws.


THE DESDEMONATA
(S Hartwell)

My years on earth were years I merely borrowed;
My passage to the glory lands bring to me no sorrow,
You give me comfort at the last,
So help me take the sunlit path,
And while I bathe forever in eternal light in Purradise,
I'll always be a kitten in your heart.

My time on earth is nearly done my friend,
I ask one final thing -
Procure for me a gentle, painless end.

My body was so tired as I bathed in summer scents,
At the final curtain's falling, the approach of welcome death I sensed,
In death my body looks as though I simply sleep,
I am at peace. I have no pain.
In astral flesh I'm whole again.
But who will hold YOU while YOU weep?


THE LAST ACT OF COMPASSION
(S Hartwell)

She lies there gently breathing,
And she'd like for you to know,
That she's reached the final crisis
And it's time for her to go.

She needs a little help now,
To ease her from this life,
There's nothing left but suffering,
You can see it in her eyes.

The vet has got the answer,
To end her pain and fear,
That last act of compassion,
For a friend you love so dear.

So save her from those last days,
She deserves a final peace,
It's a mercy, not betrayal,
To ease her into sleep.

I know your heart is broken,
Though the pain, in time, will ease,
And at Heaven's gates she's waiting,
On the threshold of a dream.


THE PURRY GATES
(Anon)

It seems that I've reached Heaven, or its doorstep at any rate,
And been winding round St Peter's ankles by the Pearly Gates,
I've plucked the angels' harp-strings and made a merry sound,
But it's plucking at my heartstrings that you are not around.

So I think I'll sit and wait here, just outside the door,
And as the souls come floating in, I'll tap them with my paw,
And when you seek admittance, they'll rename this place -
It will become Purradise, and these the Purry Gates!


AFTERTHOUGHT
(W Girt)

If ever I get to Heaven, please, Peter let there be
Purring by the Golden Gates, a cat to welcome me.
By crystal fountain, clear and cool, I'd like a place to stop,
To watch a languid pussy paw curl out to catch a drop.
And if an angel feather drifts gently down from space,
Surely there'll be a kitten there to whirl in frenzied chase.
But if, in Heaven's great mansions, for a cat there is no room,
Then Peter, lock the gates gain - I'm going straight back home.


THE CAT BED IN THE SKY
Anon

I thought that you might like to know I got here safe and sound
Though you must feel rather strange not having me around;
Of course, I am not really gone, I've just moved out of sight,
And I don't need that old body, things had stopped working right.
Sometimes I'm sorely tempted, to pop back down and see,
Just how you are managing, without any help from me,
But I'm sure that you will understand I can't come back to stay,
Though I have it on good authority that we'll meet again some day.

The chow up here's delicious - Ambrosia brand, it's named,
Once you've tasted this stuff, Friskies won't taste the same,
And where do they get this nectar, which thick and creamy comes,
It's not like other dairy products cos it don't give me the runs.
I haven't found the litter tray, and THIS perplexes me,
That however much I wolf down, I never have to pee.
But there are other plus points, which cannot be ignored,
My claws have all come back again and there are drapes here to be clawed.

Another little oddity, that leaves me quite astounded,
Underneath my tail end are two lumps, furry and rounded -
I can't remember having them, when I lived down there with you,
And up here, all I can say - I've not sussed out their use.
Oh yes - I've got a comfy bed, just like mine down there at home,
So things here are quite adequate, I cannot gripe or groan;
But while I'm up here waiting, in my cat bed in the sky,
I'll regularly look in on you, and keep a watchful eye.


BEAMED FROM THE BRIGHT CATTERY IN THE SKY
(Michael Hatwell)

"praedilecta Sappho ibi nuper ascensa sic loquitu"

In case you have been wondering
Just how I am getting along
In my new surroundings
Or worry whether I have learned to cope
With the easy rhythm and pace
For which this place is renowned
Then listen: I have been chasing little mice again
Sweeter, lighter, infinitely more fragrant
Than any I ever brought into the bedroom
For your pleasure
In the old days.
That having been said,
I wouldn't for all the world wish you to infer
That they stint the grub up here:
Admittedly
The celestial fish are not especially exciting
(Their natural zodiac ripeness has had to be homogenised
for the general run of feline palates)
But on the plus side
The nice cat-lady who comes round,
All gowned in blue (my favourite colour)
And with glory crowned,
Pours out a warm and creamy whiteness
That is literally
Quite heavenly.
Someone usually remembers
To cut my claws
And tickle my ear
So that side of things is catered for,
One might say,
Adequately enough.
I think of you sometimes
Certain that you will come one day
To take me on your knee
And talk to me the way you used to.
When that day comes
I shall let you know
Loudly and unambiguously
That things round here have finally begun to go
Really very well indeed:
I shall add to ordinary space and time
My own particular dimension
Of thick, soft-throated sound.


TOWARDS THE END
(Anon)

Feel warmth from the elderly cat on your lap,
Her paws stretching up when waked from her nap,
Contentedly snuggling with low gentle purr,
But so little flesh now under her fur.

Continue in hope that her health may return,
Though serious troubles have taken their turn,
Just let her be tranquil, to pass from her ills,
Without all the trauma of any more pills.

The time is approaching, so shrunken her frame,
For her to be sleeping, relieved of all pain,
The vet who has helped her will answer the plea,
When she has shown clearly she should be set free.

Weep not. She is at peace.


A SONG FOR SALLY
(Anon)

Her body is buried deep in the ground,
Yet Sally is ever and always around,
In the garden she loved and the house where she found
Affection and safety, her memories abound.

She lived in the alley - this accounts for her name,
And nobody ever knew whence she came,
Just a wild, pregnant stray, starving and lame,
But she stayed to become a loved pet, all the same.

Her fur like black satin is still glimpsed in the trees;
Her call can be heard on the sound of the breeze;
At the side of her grave, the rosemary sees,
Its sweet blossom scented by murmuring bees.

So if old Deuteronomy up in the sky,
Has gathered her safely, calming her cry,
Taken her tenderly, telling her why,
Bestowed then his blessing 'til she purred with a sigh ....

Then, there's no need for tears, Sal, because you are gone,
For we know in our hearts you brave spirit lives on.


FOR A MUCH-LOVED CAT
(Helen Crichton)

My dear old puss, she always loved the garden,
To spread herself along a sun warmed wall,
Or watch the winder water-puddles harden,
And catch the whirling snowflakes as they fall.

My lovely puss, her fur was soft and shining,
Her topaz eyes would widen in the gloom,
A soft and silky wraith, I'd feel her twining
Around my ankles as I left a room.

She chased the wind in Spring, the leaves in Autumn,
Clapping her paws upon a butterfly,
And blinked in mild surprise to see the snow come,
Slitting her eyes to watch the winter sky.

She died in Winter, when the ground was frozen,
I found it hard to dig a tiny grave,
But though I mourn, I'm grateful I was chosen,
To take the love and loyalty she gave.


AN OLD MAN'S PRAYER FOR HIS CAT
(George Ware)

So many years ago she came to me, a trusting
Tiny ball of fluff that climbed my leg to play
And sleep upon my lap.

For all those years, and still, we shared our joys and
Love but now are both grown old and soon must die.
Her eyes, like mine, are clouded and would no longer
Serve to catch her prey.
Nor could she understand the missing saucer, cold
Hearth and empty bed, nor bend her ways to suit
Some stranger's house.

Pray, take her first O Lord, that I may see her resting,
Safe, deep beneath the apple tree that once she loved,
To climb with such agility, far beyond my reach.
I shall grieve with understanding, then anyone can bury me.


WILD AND FREE
(P J Quick)

I hope you're running wild and free now you have gone to eternity,
Free from pain and young again as once you used to be.
I hope you're running wild and free, as free as the wind in the trees,
Playing and purring in ecstasy, or sleeping and dreaming at ease.
I hope you're running wild and free, as free as the clouds in the sky,
Rushing excitedly, a kitten again, with eyes as blue as the sea.
I hope you're running wild and free, sometimes maybe remembering me,
For I know the time will come one day when we'll both be wild and free.


ETERNAL DAWN
(M P Barnaby)

I take your furry face within my hands,
And look into your golden eyes,
This is goodbye, it has to be the end,
Far better, than you should suffer needlessly.
We shall not walk again on sunlit lawn,
Those magic hours how have gone, I must not mourn,
For we shall meet again, my little cat,
In happiness resumed, on that Eternal Dawn.


ON THE DEATH OF A FAVOURITE CAT
(Hilda Lunn)

Since you have gone the sun has left the sky,
No breezes blow,
No birds sing
To ease the aching vacuum in my heart.
I shall not forget your gentle ways;
No judgements made,
No difficult demands,
No needs save one,
To share your life with mine.
Now kind, uncomprehending people say
"Cheer up, you'll love another pet some day."


ANGEL CAT
(Melody Collier)

Oh! Where did you come from, my dear little cat,
When our hearts were so full of pain,
This is a secret you never divulge
And no human can ever explain.

We had loved, we had lost, we were drowned in grief,
I wonder, did God hear our cry?
Did he call an Angel to hold you close,
And to bring you to us from the sky?


TO THE MEMORY OF STAR
(Melody Collier)

I pray you do not share with me the loneliness and agony,
Since death has claimed you for her own and taken you to shores unknown,
I pray you do not wonder why I do not answer if you cry,
Nor stroke your coat with loving hand. I fear you may not understand,
That for a while our paths must part, although I hold you i my heart,
I do not want your peace to be lost in a loneliness for me,
I pray you do not gaze for me in vain through some celestial windowpane.


PAW-PRINTS
(S L Smith)

Paw-prints in the sands of time,
Tracks along an empty beach,
Towards a fate which is not mine,
A destiny out of my reach.

You've gone where I will some day follow,
But for now you're out of sight,
Your years with me was time just borrowed,
Before you returned to heaven's light.

No longer in my sight, you vanished,
Through the veil of time and space,
In my memory you are cherished,
Ambassador of feline race.

Time and tides sweep clean your paw-marks,
Another's paws will tread anew,
But you carved paw-prints in my own heart,
Eternal love-prints, etched by you.

One day I'll see your paw-prints glowing,
Sparkling in the morning dew,
Guiding me at my time of going,
Leading me sunwards, back to you.


Author's note:
Every time I look at my driveway I see the pawprints of a little cat who walked across wet cement many years ago. She has made her own journey to the next world, but one day I will see a trail of sparkling paw-prints ahead of me. Those paw-prints will lead me back to her side. Until then, those eternal pawprints help keep her memory safe in my heart.


BENNY
(JMH)

He is dead. The bright eyes closed,
Soft paws crossed in sweet repose,
His heart is stilled in tranquil sleep,
His brief life closed in timeless deep,
Can I forget the things I know,
I, his 'Mum', who loved him so?

Can I forget his gentle ways,
The joy we shared, the summer days?
The softness of his silken fur,
The welcome of his happy purr?
Can I forget the things I know,
I, his 'Mum', who loved him so?

Now he lies in grave unmarked,
But with him lies my broken heart.


IN MEMORY
(Melody Collier)

Little cat, in a distant sky
Where mice are friends and bluebirds fly,
Where pain is forgotten and you can pass
With leaping grace over green, green grass;
Little cat, will you catch a star
And wonder, a moment, where you are?

Little cat, in a distant land
Where nothing can harm you as you stand
And gaze at the clouds, so pure, so white;
And all is glad with a fresh delight,
Little cat, in your newborn years,
Will you spare a thought for my falling tears?


FOR THOMAS O'MALLEY
(Heather Smith)

I closed the door with care
As if the action could disturb the sleeper;
But even as I sought the comfort
Of the well-worn chair; the picture stayed,
Not only in my mind but on the very walls
Upon the curtains and the muddied floor.
Just three short hours to die -
To fade, and with a gentle kick
To journey beyond his much-loved home.
No screams or growls attended
That quiet passing; just laboured breath
And then a dreadful silence.
I wish it was not autumn when
All leaves are golden like his glorious coat,
And shadows stretch like cats
Across the evening lawn.


SOPHIE REMEMBERED
(Ruth M Bottomley)

O lovely lady of soft white paws and golden eyes
Dreaming dreams in silver gardens of May moonrise,
Purring softly in summer's shade through sunlit hours,
Breathing gently the sweet aroma of summer flowers.

On winter evenings you snuggled warmly upon our knees,
The music murmured, the firelight flickered, we took our ease,
Your beauteous face, the mask of midnight and soft pink nose,
Such silken fur, faerie whiskers and velvet toes.

Much joy you brought with loving glances, enchanting play,
Until you rested on softest pillows at close of day,
Your sweetness lingers in every shadow as twilight falls
And we shall meet you to live forever in starlit halls.


MITZI
(Chris Perry)

Dear little friend, you were always there,
Running to greet me at the end of the longest days,
Sharing life's triumphs and despairs ....
And all the in-betweens.
Happy or sad, you accepted me just the same.
With you I didn't have to pretend to be, or feel
Anything but just me ...

Constancy, serenity, comfort, laughter, joy,
You brought them all - but until now, no tears ...
And asked so little in return.

Little friend, where are you now, why did you have to go?
What will fill this void which now instead of you is here?

Dearest little friend, thank you
For sharing your life and love with me.


FROM A THIRTEEN YEAR OLD CAT
(E Poll)

I know in time you too will see
It is a kindness you do to me;
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.
Do not grieve that it should be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close through all these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.


BARNABY GOES TO HEAVEN
(S L Smith)

Why is it mom can't see me as I wind round her ankles?
She doesn't pay me attention, Great Bast how that rankles!
And when I try to exercise my needle-pointed claws,
It doesn't make an impact on the drapes ... or couch ... or doors.

Well something's very wrong here and I haven't worked it out,
She doesn't seem to hear me though I yowl and stomp and shout,
And mom cleared away the foodbowl as if I wasn't there,
Okay, I don't feel hungry, but it still seems so unfair!

What's this? She's tidying my cat bed, she's put it out of sight,
Something's going on here and it surely isn't right,
And now my poor mom's crying like her heart will surely break,
What is going on here? Let me know, for goodness sake!

She left the room ignoring me, so to the door I raced,
But as though she couldn't see me, she just slammed it in my face,
Well I tried to dig my claws in, came to a skidding stop,
I braced myself for impact and ... right through the wood I popped!

Ah, things are making sense now and I think I get the picture,
It just happened so suddenly I didn't have it figured,
So if you will excuse me, mom, I must be moving on,
But I'll peek at you from heaven and we'll meet again ere long.

.... Oops! I'll have to add a postscript, cos I'd hate you to not know,
Heaven's quite a fun place (once you've worked out it's time to go!),
But I really miss my cuddles and my cans of Uncle Frisk,
So mom, when you come to join me, can you fetch me up a dish?

* He lived his whole life in confusion and probably made a mess of passing over, then tackled the afterlife with a similarly scatterbrained attitude. If he comes back on visits as a ghost, he'll be the sort who can't quite work out how to walk through walls.


SONG FOR SMOKY
(S L Smith)

The empty cat bed in the corner,
Abandoned toys beneath the chair,
Unopened cans still in the cupboard,
Hard to believe that you're not there.

No muddy pawprints on the counters,
No furballs sicked up on the stair,
No purring shape upon my pillow,
Hard to believe that you're not there.

The grassy mound there in the garden,
The absence of your soothing purr,
I still look round, still half-expecting,
To see your form, but you're not there.

A trick of light, a sudden shadow,
A moving curtain, draft of air,
A glimpse of shape at edge of vision,
Still can't believe that you're not there.

One day there'll be another feline,
To accept this love I need to share,
But the cat bed lies awhile, abandoned,
For now, it's hard that you're not there.

 

ONE DAY
Janice R. Hardy

One day
I knew you would have to leave us as I watched you growing old,
But swept the thought from my mind like autumn leaves upon the path.
Now, as l look at your photograph, your body cold as the frame, my heart is full,
Sad, yet calm, memories a sweet balm.

Every room contains your presence, each passing hour, too,
Elegant form washing, cosily curled, sleeping,
A soft pad touching my cheek to tell me morning is here,
Face bright, nose pink, as you danced across the virgin frost to breakfast eagerly eaten.

I hear the Ďsnapí of your puss flap, the Ďchirrupí of your greeting as our keys turn in the lock,
Your deep Ďpurrí of pleasure as you nestle on my lap,
Your Ďtapping and scrabblingí as you play in battles mock.
These memories, and more, proud lad, will sustain me until I feel your soft pad upon my cheek,

lím sure,
One day.



THE ANSWER
E. Andrea Bannerman-Phillips
(Inspired by spiritual contact with dear Brockina and other cat friends in both worlds)

Pussylove, Pussylove, where have you gone?
Leaving me sad and so lonely;
Your dear bright eyes that recently shone
Have left me with memories only.

I miss your deep, full-throated purr,
Your warm, understanding fellowship;
I miss your soft, caress-loving fur,
Your restless, comical tail tip.

Oh, give me some sign, be it sight or sound,
That your precious self is not lost.

Surely the Creator, divine, profound,
Would have calculated the cost
Of giving mankind such a timeless joy
As the love of each animal friend,
Only to let blind chance destroy
And bring these great gifts to an end?

My questioning ceased, but my heart ached still,
Scarcely hoping an answer to find
When, into my presence a cat spirit came,
Clear, though faintly defined.
A tiny, Ďmiaowí in that voice I knew well
Confirmed my dear catís return
And she spoke to my heart, as sheís always done,
With truths I wanted to learn.

ĎNow, grieve no longer, my dear human friend,
Know that Iím truly alive,
That, when I passed, it was not the end;
You, I, we all do survive.
Only our bodies are buried down there;
Busy, happy and active are we,
Enjoying fully our spirit re-birth;
Here, each of us shines like a star.

And, when your time comes to make the great change,
I will greet you, purring with love,
Together, these glorious realms we will range
As on earth, weíll be happy above.í

A moment longer her presence was clear
Then, gently retreated from sight,
But the truths she had given supplanted my fear
And I know my faint hope had been right.

 

BENNY
(Anon)

He is dead. The bright eyes closed,
Soft paws crossed in sweet repose,
His heart is stilled in tranquil sleep,
His brief life closed in timeless deep.
Can I forget the things I know,
I, his ĎMumí, who loved him so?

Can I forget his gentle ways,
The joy we shared, the summer days?
The softness of his silken fur,
The welcome of his happy purr?
Can I forget the things I know,
I, his ĎMumí, who loved him so?

Now he lies in grave unmarked
But with him lies my broken heart.


SOFT PAW
Roderick Hill

Down cast eyes, the minute cries,
the elegant footstep slowly dies.
The silence stops, now you are gone,
the sadness starts where you once shone.

Ambling comfortably through the home,
seeing no boundaries alone she roams.
Soft paw sleeping in the afternoon sun,
time moves on and a life is run.

She moved with freedom, as the endless sky,
Then died to sleep, to rest to fly.
We cling to the moments, we cherish the past,
The petals of the flower finally cast.

But now she is roaming in the stars
Her graceful spirit fleets above ours,
The tears may fall, like crystal rain,
Yet she is happy and alive and free again.

So lift our souls, cast our smiles,
Cheer our hearts and laugh a while,
In the eternal blue she watches, it seems,
The hopes, the fears, the lives, the dreams.

Waves break loud on a far sea-shore,
Where blew a flower, may a flower no more
Brake in the sun till the run breaks down
and death shall have no dominion.


REQUIEM FOR TIGER
Joan Hills

Almighty God please may I have a cat
To share your vast eternity with me?
To keep me company throughout the day
And spend the evenings curled upon my knee.
A cat to share my night-time and my bed.
To ride upon my shoulder up the stairs
As once he rode; or wait inside the door
To welcome me, and soothe away my cares
with purr and mew. But I forget, there are no cares in Heaven.
Maybe no night-time too?
No cats methinks? But how could You debar
from Heaven a thing of beauty like a cat?
When You were once a little boy on earth
Perhaps You had a cat to hunt the mice
In Josephís workshop. And there at Your birth
In that poor stable, did a kitten play
Amid the straw with oxen and with ass?
Perhaps Your baby fingers stroked his fur.
Iím sure he did not hiss at You or scratch
So small a babe (a cat gives love for love).
Did You and Mary have a ginger cat
With all the hues of summer in his fur?
Or was he black with great big golden eyes?
And did he run to You, and fuss and purr?
A tabby cat, I think, would be my choice
For Your companion in Your boyhood days.
A cat striped like a Tiger, with a coat
As soft as silk, and gentle winning ways.
Sweet Jesus, if You loved a cat on earth
I know Youíll understand me when I pray
When he comes mewing at Heavenís door,
Donít turn a little tabby cat away.
May he be there to greet me when I come
To meet You on that last and fateful day.
Dear, loving Lord, may I have Tiger Cat?


REMEMBRANCE OF SADIE
Avril Farahar

For a few weeks it was lavender.
Delicate mauve bells
Clinging to fur
And dangling from eye-brows.

Next, scent from roses.
Never in the best of tempers, her tail swished,
Angrily as she permitted me
To pluck out thorns from her coat.

Then, Shirley Poppies.
Vivid waxy petals squashed
By her plump little body,
As she snoozed in the coolness
Beneath their broad leaves.

She slept a lot that summer, this elderly cat.
Secure and happy among her
Beloved garden flowers.
Now she sleeps forever beneath
The freesias.


LEAVE TAKING
Winifred A Thorn

Into my later life, when purpose failed,
When much was lost, and few were there to heed,
Undaunted feline stray, affectionate, he came.
These fourteen years, our paths have intermatched,
Our instincts blend, each knows the otherís need.

But now our lifespans close, one must be first to end;
If it were his, my gentle, loyal friend,
Lacking his loving touch, his modest wants,
His undemanding chores, my days were sad indeed,
Bereft this echoing house, homecomings desolate.

But he, if he were left, transferred to strangersí hands,
Familiar routine gone, his eating place, his dish,
His preference for kidneys, dislike of fowl or fish.
How would he cope, forced to adapt too late,
Bewildered and alone, what then would be his fate?

O, Bast, compassionate, great goddess of all cats,
Let him go first, and I will bear the rest.


MESSAGE FROM SOOTY
Marie Anthony
(who became old, deaf and ill so went to Animal Heaven)

My very dear Master and his Lady Wife
I am really enjoying this lovely new life;
The milk is like nectar, the food is ambrosial;
When I get my wings up I must pay you a call
And sun-bathe awhile in the old tortoise house
Oh, Iíve just met a young monkey and a little white mouse
And Iíve chummed up with Colombe, a nice turtle dove;
Of course our dear Jenny is here and sends you her love;
And Pussy, Ďthe pretty cat from Eighty Two, Archway Roadí,
And a budgie, a froggie (heís English!) and even a toad.
I think of you often; I have never forgotten
And please, really, you mustnít ever feel rotten
About that Last Kindness. You were truly my friend,
You lovingly stayed with me right to the end
But, you see, it isnít The End; itís more A Beginning,
You should just hear the purring, the cooing and singing!
Though thereís no bicycle here upon which to abide
A sagacious old donkey often gives me a ride.
I feel and I know that you both are near.
Guess what? Three hearty Miaows! Now I can hear.


REQUEST
Harry F G Griffin

In the land of no goodbyes,
Where my Pinky now resides,
Let there be a place for me,
Where my love again I'll see.

Walk with her the paths of home,
In that eternal timeless zone,
Watch her gambol on the lawn,
Greet me eagerly at dawn.

When it's solace that I seek,
Extend a paw and pat my cheek,
Joy and woe may life entwine,
But love outlasts the sands of time.



LAURA
Gwen Lupson

White and black, and ginger, too,
A coat like silk, a silent mew,
Eyes of gold, a gentle paw,
Ears pricked high as through the door
comes Laura.

At night, she has her basket there;
But, no, she sleeps upon my chair,
Or, up and down the stairs she runs;
Itís exercise and itís such fun
for Laura.

Sometimes my heart is very sad
For a ginger fellow I once had;
God called him home, he could not bide.
He left a pain I could not hide.
God saw my pain and to my aid
He sent another He had made
Who needed me to aid her, too
And so I started off anew
with Laura.


SMUDGE
Written by a friend for Mr and Mrs J F Histed of Welling when Smudge died at the age of 19.

Here I sit serene and still
Upon my heavenly window sill;
Glossy black and radiant white
Purring warmly, shining bright,
Feeding on ambrosial fish
From an alabaster dish.
Taking after dinner maps
Curled upon the angelsí laps.
Nightly from my starry chair
I purr my earnest kittenís prayer.
Thanks for every happy day
Spent with her in idle play.
No other cat could ever be
So loved and cherished, God, as me.
No other cat could ever spend
So good a life with such a friend.
Please tell my friend that for her still,
I purr with joy from my window sill.


THE OLD CAT
Jackie Huck

Iím an old grey cat letting life slip by,
Nothing disturbs as I twitch and sigh,
My silken fur is grizzled and dank,
My sturdy frame is frail and lank,
Itís a shadow world as my eyesight dims,
A bony old cat with creaking limbs,
But my heart beats strong with a faithful thud
And I have to say that lifeís been good.

Iíve lain for hours in the kindly sun,
Chased autumn leaves just for fun,
I used to climb in the highest tree,
I caught a rat bigger than me,
Iíve hunted mice beneath the moon,
Crooned to clouds my special tune,
Iíve been loved and pampered and understood,
Thereís not long left, but itís all been good.

No rain-soaked nights with dripping hair
But a warm fireside and my favourite chair,
No fight to live in a friendless world
Just contented dreams on a cushion curled,
No harsh words on a lonely street
But a gentle voice and the best to eat,
No hungry stray round the neighbourhood,
Yes, Iíve been lucky and lifeís been good.

My hours pass slowly, I sleep all day,
But I sometimes watch while the young ones play
Remembering times when I rushed around
With agile paws that made no sound,
Then a tender hand strokes my ragged fur,
And I fall asleep with a peaceful purr,
As I drift serenely towards the end,
I know Iíve lived with a catís best friend.



ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
"Boy Catís Mum"

Dearest God
Be good to him, my precious boy,
For all the joy he gave me treat him well.
Let him run and play and climb Heavenís highest tree;
Give him all the love and trust that he gave me.

Guide him gently, take him through
So he may know eternal life and peace with you.

The bond we share will never die;
Our souls as one will never part.

O hear my prayer, dear Lord
And know itís true
That I may mend the anguish
of my breaking heart.

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