“two cats passed today”
for Peter Caulfield
the edge of the bed is colder now.
you & I place our palms on the spot
where two cats once gathered
to greet & love the hands of friends
that will never feel the same.
all we can do now is caress the soft down blanket
where they slept a lifetime of nights
& wonder about the last reflections
shimmering behind their eyes.
we can never know how they felt as the light deepened
in a gathering mist of confusion
when the soft touch known for years
gave way to a plastic glove,
a long syringe that plunged beneath their fur.
no–we can’t dwell on these images
of the two loved cats that passed today,
thoughts of the last breaths bleeding
out from their rapid-heart chests.
instead we should remember their vibrations
of joy, the brush of soft fur against welcome fingertips
that knew the ears & temples & necks
& souls of two cats that never questioned
why they or we were what we were.
they spent their lives touching ours
& making music with their bones.
& though we’ve laid them to sleep
curled up in boxes beneath the soil
& tears hang like loose strings from our eyes,
we’ll do our best to keep moving,
as they did, through the still quiet
of a living room on a warm Cape Cod morning,
no more aware than they of why our hearts are beating.
Michael Patrick McSweeney is a professional writer and educator from the Greater Boston area. He loves his future wife, cats and the sea. Much of his published work can be found at online The Squawk Back, a semi-regular e-zine produced in New York City.
Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.