Marco (prompt 26, Hour 21)

My cat crept into my heart on little fog feet. I saw him born, but
he knew long before I did that we were meant for each other.
Why shouldn’t cats know in the way humans know
a relationship is lasting? He did.
He showed me love is a gift, not earned.
He gave me the joy of recognition each time I entered a room
He taught me that he loved gravy more than food.
He let me know that he was more important than my computer
simply by stretching out between the keyboard and the screen.
He hunted wild mice fiercely to prove he could provide.
He trusted me. With purity and unquestioning love.
It made me a better person, living up to his belief.

He had nine lives that big grey lug. And he used up eight
before he let me know he was about to go.
He was 21 when he died, as trusting as he had ever been.
His frail old body too weak to move, he could no longer lick.
His fur matted. I knew he didn’t like that.
So with him lying on a pad, too feeble to lift his head,
I brought hot water and a cloth to bathe him.
I could almost see him smile.
Then I swaddled him in towels to keep him warm.
When I returned a few minutes later, his little life was gone.
Born in my bedroom, and died in my bedroom.

He knew when to sit in my lap and comfort me,
and he knew when to give me space. We grew old together.
Maybe that’s why I still think at times I glimpse him
coming through a doorway, or walking into the kitchen.
I half expect him to jump up on the bed and use my arm
for a pillow. He left a hole another animal will not fill.
Maybe that’s why I have his ashes in my closet still.
Only a pet lover will understand.

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