An Ode for a Cat

The noblest cause in life:
To preserve that which brings joy,
To seek elevation above base strife,
To hold what rust and moth destroy.
And such you were, my little cat:
A beacon that once brought light.
I will forever enshrine you,
And all that you contribute.
Even as you join eternal night,
These words will have to pay due,
A solitary lasting tribute.

A mere momentary thing,
It seems so short a span we knew you,
And what life you could bring.
Now you are gone, life seems askew:
Looking for an apparition, seeking
A glimpse of our faithful companion,
Listening to the silence that fills the halls
Now that you are no longer living.
You were taken in tribulation,
No longer to reside within our walls.

We had known that this day would come,
You following a sliver of our life’s arc
Would return before us to where we are from,
So may you find peace, and not fear the dark
Know that you have fulfilled a worthy purpose
And have proven yourself the greatest friend
Who lived along us for such a joyful span
For because of you our hearts know surplus
And even though your body’s course may end
Our memory of you shall forever stand.

Today we had to have our cat of many years put down; she had suffered a stroke and was unable even to drink water. I managed to get this photo of her while testing the camera on my phone back in July. She was never much of a lap-cat, but she would perch in a fashion on my leg whenever I would let her, once she warmed up to us.

It was a hard emotional journey, especially watching her suffer in her final hours. Now that she is gone, I keep looking for her everywhere, a reminder of how important she was to me back when she was around. Although I know that cats don’t have the same sort of consciousness and spirit as humans, I think there’s something profound in the way that they bond with us; they don’t need us, they choose us.

One of the reasons that I write is because good things should be immortal. They cannot, of course, truly be so, because the world is a fallen place touched by evil and destructive chaos. But we can still draw together and treasure what is meaningful, what brings virtue instead of destroying it.

And a good place to start with that is to remember the simple joy that a cat can bring, what the companionship of a fellow creature can stir in our heart.

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