On the Passing of My Beloved Barn Cat

Because I will outlive you
should I tell you to love me less
so my grief at your departing lessens …

The lessons of life are simple
We live a life and die
We leave our mark on hearts that beat
on minds that lean on stuff stiffer
than flesh with fur or skin
or eyes that shine in the dark
Don’t despair
Life is fair
We are all under the same aegis

Pinkie … I have outlived you …
you should have died hereafter …
perhaps there would have been a time for such a word

But your brief time here was such a grand one …
I cherished every day
which began with your greeting me at the door
as I headed out to the barn
a huge container of cat food in hand
to feed you and your brother and sister
all three hairy bundles of energy
leading the way
tails raised straight up like periscopes
each of you taking turns
rolling in the grass

As I proceeded to unlock the barn door
Pinkie … Blackie … then Lady Gray
would zigzag around the cuffs
of my coveralls and purr their blessed purr
It was their daily morning ritual
and I was a willing and happy participant

Each of you celebrated other rites throughout the day …
hanging out with the horses in the barn
weaving your ways from one stall to another
catnapping high up on the bales of hay in the loft
catching mice (are there any left?)
sneaking up on birds (hope you didn’t catch any)
drinking from the horses’ tall water trough (quite the balancing act)

But my favorite tradition
came in the early evening during twilight time …
I would sit on the stoop of the back porch
and call your names

Each of you would push against the loose weathered board
on the barn door
and squeeze your way out …
You came sauntering up to me
and each of you would say
Pick me up … make my motor hum

And yes Pinkie
your motor did hum.

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