“She must be near the end!
how often have we said that?
her rear quarters are a self-parody,
slouching drunkenly behind her,
following like an unwilling attendant.
Hours she spends staring at walls
with just centimetres between wall and cat.
Her focus – is it infinity or eternity
simply the burning down of her fuse?
Worst of all are her protests,
punctuating the night like torn metal,
piercing the day as shrieks of terror,
causing mere mortals to recoil in shock
at what must be torture and torment.
Her cries demand translation but into what?
A here and now demand for food and warmth?
The acknowledgement of pain’s acuteness?
How lonely being alone has now become?
Entering her seventeenth year,
A grey scraggy ball of undisciplined fur,
she insists on her own queendom still
perhaps with a vague memory of how
one summer’s day she once plucked
a swallow from the sky in mid-flight
or went missing for a week and somehow survived
when summer was at its ridiculous hottest.
She stays indoors, hunting the sun’s reflection
or huddles next to radiators crackling with heat,