She is an older cat, ill, and failing
a little more from month to month.
Today, she won’t jump down
from her soft cushion when I ask
if she wants grooming. I show her
the plastic brush, run my thumb
along its spines to make it crackle.
She blinks, blue eyes that never
did see straight, and lifts her chin
to let me stroke a little down
her neck, first on the right side,
then the left. She leans into it
as much as she can, still in meat-loaf
cat posture that shows she’s between
wakefulness and a doze. We go on
for a few minutes, quietly, bonding.
A few stray hairs cling near her eyes.
I touch them away so they won’t
bother her. She lets me kiss her head
on the crewcut. When I stand
to go do other things, she watches me
calmly, eyes already at the half,
peaceful. I wave. I can’t imagine
how I could finally tell her goodbye.