The old cat yowls a caustic moan—a banshee’s rough lament.
It rips my slumber wide apart. My gentle dream is rent.
A night comprised of eight-hours sleep would now seem heaven-sent.
My friends urge euthanasia, but I’m of another bent.
I toast the bread and spread the jam. I let my coffee vent,
then take a sip and watch the cat sip oil but not dent
the surface of the tiny can of shrimp and cod I’ve bent
to plop into my grandma’s dish that was never meant
to house a meal for animals—that family heirloom leant
power by its years of use—everywhere it went.
No human family member can know the full extent
of what this antiquated vessel means in its descent.
It is a loving blessing. A secret grand event—
a little ceremony to honor her ascent
to wherever old cats go when it’s time to absent
themselves from an easy life that’s turned into torment.
Why can I not cut loose the cord? I am a dissident
regarding being left once more. Those other loves that went
more silent into that good night, finally content,
somehow have not prepared me for this coming event.
I cannot be the agent hastening her demise.
The cat and I return to bed to close our stubborn eyes.