darkening eyes, off to visit
another place in the long grass.
As you ferret for your quarry,
so many lives you follow
to play with once again,
returning each night to your bed.
We helped you on your way
to renew your acquaintance
with old hunting grounds
sans malice or judgement.
Behind my eyes, a flash, a jolt,
involuntary convulsing silent cry,
recurring hurt, as you let go
you neither sense my guilt, nor hear …
Vox clamantis in deserto
© 2018 John Anstie
All rights reserved
[Harry ‘Tigger’ Potter was a handsome lithe 17+ year old tabby tom cat. Until very recently he was, to all intents still fit and active. It was only in his last few days that we realised something wasn’t right and even within his last 24 hours, after examination by and some bad news from the vet when he wandered round every corner of the surgery, probably looking for a way out, that he went down hill very rapidly. Within 12 hours of finding him the following morning and very unsteady on his feet, did the metastases from his liver course in his blood to his brain, causing us to respond in the only way it was possible to be kind to him. For many years, he was king of the jungle around here, but was always happy to sit on my wife’s lap and purr loudly every evening; he was, nonetheless, a good natured, thoroughgoing cat’s cat.
By way of a further footnote, ‘Vox claimants in deserto’, the translation of which means ‘A voice crying out in the wilderness’ – is the motto of Dartmouth College, one of the elite Ivy-League colleges in the USA, which also happens to have been the alma mater of the poet, Robert Frost]