My hands feel sweaty

As I gently lift you off my lap

Your gray tail curves against my arm

And I feel as though you’re holding on

Not because you’re afraid to fall

But because you’re afraid to keep holding on

 

Fragile bones of starvation can be felt

Amongst the ungroomed, greasy hair

You hide away in my arms as I move on

Closer and closer towards the door

With the bell that lightly chimes

“Appointment with death”

 

Sounds of youthful chirps and barks

Surround us as I hold you closer

Remember when you were that small?

So playful and curious with the world

Always getting into trouble

But were always forgiven

 

The time when you escaped

Through a broken screen

Or when you would sneak a drink

From my glass on the floor

The countless missing hair ties

I gave up looking for

 

Yet you managed to win me over

With your crisp, lime green eyes

Your feminine dainty paws

That small heart shaped nose

Whiskers as white as snow

And of course, your signature meow

 

I will miss your calming, loud purr

Seeing your “shark fin” tail as I lay in bed

Hearing you scamper up the stairs

Petting your silky fur, rubbing your alert ears

And even finding the “present” of

A mouse at my feet

 

A woman calls out your name

And you look up with recognition

I pretend to not notice that these moments

Are our last together

As I kiss the top of your head

I whisper my goodbyes under my breath

And walk towards the guiding light

 

Nicolle Devoto

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