Our cat, Scully, lived an amazing twenty three years, and a year ago I had to have her put to sleep, and then bring her home. And she really did simply seem to be asleep. I cleared a piece of the garden where I buried her and then planted it out.
I wrote a poem for her, too. Not straight away. You have to wait for them to be written, and so it was February this year in St Ives following a writing prompt from Kim Moore before it got written.
You have gone from slow. There was a shift in things
as though the air was panes of glass that slid and puzzled
and then there was the still
of nothing at all and weightlessness
listening to small stones scrape on the steel of a spade
You remember how cold, and how the weight of the ground
sank around you, how it settled,
how you fit, like an egg, or an ammonite.
Months now you have leached and leached.
Hair lasts beyond flesh, beyond muscle.
There are things here
that go about their patient business
unpicking, worming through
appointed places. You settle for that.
It will take time, you understand,
to be perfect bone, fossil-neat,
curled and comfortable,
each vertebra exactly so.
There is only one way for a cat.
This summer….this not-much-of-a-summer…… I got round to finishing the job off. It’ll be a good place where we can sit and remember what company she was.