On Standby


I thought I was dismissed.

But halfway down the stairs

I get the call.

Not shrill and insistent,

but a clear directive.

I return as requested. Maybe you

want to snuggle before taking a nap.

I sit on the bed and watch

you wash your face.

Not snuggling. What?

I wait.

 Then you leave the room

without a backward glance.


Then scratch, scratch, scratch.

Cat at the top of stairs


I smile and wait for your

decidedly shrill and insistent call

To come

and clean your litter box.


You had me on standby.

double rainbows over sea

A Tribute

Missey reminded me of the miracle of life.

I don’t know why she evoked this wonder.

She was a cat. She didn’t talk philosophy.

She wasn’t a kitten newly born.  She had

some years on her.

Yet following her silky, flowing body

as she led me to her food bar, her

smorgasbord of dried and drying delicacies,

I was filled with wonder.

Ten pounds of silk and sinew flowed before me

fully attuned to the present moment and confident

I would meet her every need.

Thank you, Mom, for bequeathing her to me.

She was a living testament to you.

She carried memories of your house in the hill

where sunshine was a part of the furniture.

Where flowers and sunrises were part of the decor.

The only decor you cared about as you tatted

lacy art, creating beauty for others to enjoy.

I remember you telling me about Missey as a kitten

grabbing a ball of yarn and running with it through

 the house, tangling furniture and herself, making

you laugh until you cried.

And I cry now, remembering Missey, remembering you.

You were so remarkable that as a young girl

I feared comparison until I came to a place

where comparison was irrelevant and uniqueness

was apparent.

Today there is pain and loss, and a desire to describe you.

To capture your throaty laugh, your voice that echoes

in my bones.  Your Independent spirit that defied

conventions, but was generous and self-sacrificing.

And intelligent.  I remember coming home from college

and telling you about studying anti-matter.  You were

not surprised.  You had read about it in the science

section of TIME magazine.

There’s more than one way to get an education.

Your way was cheaper.  I was proud of you, even

as you were of me.

Although  Missey is gone now, your rugs adorn my floors,

your tatted and crocheted art hangs on my walls and

lies on my bed.

You adorn my heart.  Amidst the pain, there is much joy.

Thanks, Mom.

My Mother’s Cat

My furry inheritance

lies on my lap

feigning indifference.

She has  become accustomed

to a new schedule, and is

gradually taking ownership.

I suspect she’s secretly

contemplating her next

takeover move.

First it was an

antique smoking bench,

then my favorite chair.

Whatever is next,

I surrender to the contented

rumble beneath my hand.



When a cat napping in sunlight

stirs and stretches,

walks casually across the room,

Stars smile.

The rhythm of the cat’s elegant

 movement mirrors the music in

their own slow dance across time.

Cat Nap

Turn my tummy

up to the sky.

Don’t know why.


cat sleeping on orange afghan