I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

7 August 2015

The Night Before

My boy, you have become so small,
curled here, asleep against my leg.
My ancient boy, over 90 in human years,
your time has come. Tomorrow,
to save you pain and long decline,
I will take you to the vet, and she
will inject you with your final sleep,
your death. She has worked so hard,
this vet, to get you to like her. Last time
we went in, she could stroke you;
you even purred (you who were once
all claw and fang and fierce hissing
for any vet). Nice timing – now 
you need not fight your death, but meet it
peacefully. My hands, too, will be on you
so that you feel my love to the end –
my hands, that even now caress
your sleek black fur. You wake 
and give a happy little murmur
at my touch, then shift position. Hard 
to find comfort, these last weeks.
But now you sleep, almost as deeply
as you will tomorrow night and afterwards
forever, all your nine lives used.
I'm glad you won't be dragging your bones
off to some secret resting place I'd never find, 
like other cats I've loved. I'm glad
of all the years you've spent with me.
One day is left to us, and then –
go sweetly, dear old friend! 

6 August 2015

Shared at dVerse Open Link Night #153


  1. Oh Rosemary, this made me cry. Such a sweet cat, such a sad parting. Yet thankful of the years of love and faithful companionship. So many goodbyes in this life, we fill right up with tears by the time we're our age. It will be hard coming home to an empty house. I so know just how hard. So sorry this time has come. But you give Levi the gift of a peaceful passing, no small thing.

  2. I knew you would probably be the first to see this, and the fellow-feeling you would have. Which warms me, my friend.

  3. Oh Rosemary...You have all my loving thoughts. Levi the Black Knight... such a beautiful boy. Sending you lots of heart felt energy. It is a brave and loving gesture on your part. Love to you, Mickie xoxoxo

  4. Rosemary--I wish I could give you a big hug. Nothing is harder than to make that decision for those pets we love...but they ask you to do it for them. I have an archive of poems I've written about the dogs I've lost and Mary Oliver does the same. Poetry is a great way to process loss. Blessings to you and your beautiful companion.

  5. Hugs to you ~ This is very moving ~


  6. Poems rarely move me to tears. This one does. I was confronted with this situation 7 years ago. It almost killed me. Take comfort in the fact that there are very few creatures on the planet who are lavished with love and and return the same. A true affinity with cats allows us that experience. Thinking of you ...deep sympathy and hugs

  7. Rosemary, this is one of the saddest poems I have read in recent times. I read it on Facebook and cannot really read it again because it resonates so real and so true. I remember when I had to make those rough decisions with my first dog Dixie...... It was one of the hardest things I ever did. I am so sorry for your loss, Rosemary. I know you are losing 'family.'

  8. This is a very sad poem, Rosemary! Sadly I have had to take a cat to the vet for the last time twice in my life. It was hard and heart-breaking both times. I hope I gave them the best I could and I am sure you did too. You posted a very sweet photo of your cat!

  9. I too cried when I saw this, Rosemary. They become such a part of our lives, it is really hard to say goodbye, no matter how we rationalise that it is better to say it with love than 'dragging your bones
    off to some secret resting place I'd never find'. Wishing you and your cat peace and much understanding and love in the final moments.

  10. So sad to read this, a cat is so much more than a beast.. It's a friend, and to me I find that parting so necessary sad. The hiding away alternative made me shiver though, so this is for the best.. But so hard to do.

  11. I really felt your sadness. Beautifully written!

  12. Rosemary, I was with both you and your beloved every step here... You capture this rite of passage exactly as it is... Very moving... With Best Wishes Scott www.scotthastie.com

  13. What a heart warming read. Lovely piece.

  14. Oh I am so very sorry. I know well that last night before the final good night. So many wonderful years you had with Levi - but now...I think their sweet spirits do linger near us. This sweet poem made me cry with you.

  15. There is comfort as well as pain in putting our animal down. There is the knowledge we can be with them, they won't suffer more and we are able to prepare them and ourselves. Touching letter to a beloved family member here. I grieve with you.

  16. It will be a sad memory for the end of this summer of 2015; I think writing about the last day is therapeutic although nothing can soothe the pain of losing a pet...except perhaps their own purr or soft touch or look or lick....gratifying that he lived so long and the memories are many.

    1. In this case, Kathy, the end of winter, which is already feeling like an early spring. I am grateful that he and his sister and my late husband all left at much the same time of year, at the start of spring – so I don't have to spread sad memories over the whole year.

  17. This is so heartbreaking.. to bear the loss of a beloved pet.. companion.. friend.. cats are so lovable.. hope it was painless and that you are able to get past your grief.. big hugs!

    Lots of love,

  18. Somewhat sad parting of ways that must necessarily be made. You've taken it very well considering the pain of seeing it go! Great lines Rosemary!


  19. We have a 14 year old Tom that is an outside critter, who comes in for food & love, & then back to his feline adventures outside. I suspect he will go off & hide when his time comes. We had to put our dog down years ago at 12, & so your poem brings me to tears as I recall my wife & I holding her for the Vet & the injection.

  20. Four lines into your poem, I knew I would be crying. What a sweet tribute to your beautiful friend. My deepest condolences.

  21. This is so lovely, Rosemary, and I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet friend. It is such a hard thing to do. Much love to you.

  22. Euthanasia.. is truly testament
    to how much humans
    CAN Love.. at times..
    their pets more
    than humans..
    a gift that
    most animals
    never receive
    in last days
    of what
    the ultimate
    price of life means..:)

  23. So sorry for the loss of your little friend. My heart ached as I read it this.
    Sending good thoughts your way....

    1. ...and please excuse my typo.

  24. There are few words I can say....A beautiful song of caring and love. I am so deeply sorry Rosemary for the loss of your dear sweet love.