What Death Means to Cats

Cat image

On Establishing What Death Means to Cats

This is our cat, all collected up,

Cushion plump, on the

Silver Salver given to

My grandfather on his marriage,

To ‘the iron fist in a velvet glove.’

The cat reflected in the half polished

Mappin and Webb tray

Knows that she has transgressed

And feels all the better for it

By the look of her.

Although she rules softly in her old age.

On the reverse of the wedding gift

Everlasting signatures,

From shipmates – some posh, some mundane – all gone

To Davey Jones’s locker or the cancer ward.

Jack, the groom, was indeed a sailor

Though I only knew him when in port,

Waiting patiently for death

To decommission him.

His last words were

‘I’m sorry to keep you waiting.’

But before then we would read of

‘Alan Quartermaine’ and

‘The Mountains of the Moon’.

Cat’s cannot wait for anything,

Not even death, of which they

Know nothing, always assuming

There is nothing to know.

They put my grandfather

In a box; I hope it smelt to him

Like the Cedars of Lebanon.

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Bernard Pearson

poet & author

Bernard lives in Oswestry, UK. He is published in around one hundred journals and magazines worldwide. He is also a spoken-word performer, finalist in both the John Tripp Spoken Word Competition and The All Wales Comic Verse Competition. Plus a biographer and prize-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in many publications. In 2017 a selection of his poetry ‘In Free Fall’ was published by Leaf by Leaf  Press. In 2019 he won second prize in The Aurora Prize (an international competition in Poetry) for his poem ‘Manor Farm’ and his first novel ‘Where the Willows End‘ was published by Leaf by Leaf Press. His second novel is due out in 2022.

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