in hand

Listen, they said, in the way of their kind,
not caring if I did.

The small rumble, the soft staccato of pearls
tumbling into air from bodies too new to know,
blind and modest as a palm, or a memory.
Tiny ears tucked like page markers
in a long book whose stories you love.

From birth, that sound.


The warm bed, the patch of sun, the heating pad.
The kibble or the canned or the treat.
The friendly scratch; the available lap.
The lazy roll in dappled dust.
The nameless, alert joy of the senses.

The familiar voice.

Years ago I fetched her from the vet, her
silken belly stitched from spaying.
She heard me before she saw me,
greeted me with happiness
already pouring from her soft throat,
filling her body like a chalice.

We are the same age equivalence now;
the charts say so.  Well south of vitality,
slightly north of dotage.

And still that sound, the rumbling repletion
they knew how to express from
the day they slipped into this world
of blood and softness
spontaneous praise

for a thousand
small joys.

Listen, they say, in the way of their kind,
not caring if I do.

Teach me, I say, before it’s done
to give thanks with the whole
of my body. Teach me
to purr.





  1. Sue L McMillin · · Reply

    Simply beautiful!


    1. Thanks, Sue!


  2. Wonderful poem – a keeper, and that recording! Thank you, Cate.
    Our Sketch is now “84” (human years) – vet says doing great for her age: she’s my role model!
    For the last 4 years of her long life, I was blessed with Rose who kept purring for 21 years to equivalent human age 100. She had outlived two prior humans; when I took her, I promised to be with her till the end, expecting a year or so … I had begun to wonder if she might outlive me as well before her vigor finally waned. She purred still on her last day.


    1. Hey, Jazz! So glad you liked this piece. That’s my Puff (she of the spay) purring; she and her brother Spot have been with me since just a few days after their births, in 2008. My funny friends, affectionate companions and weighted sleep blanket. 🙂 Rose sounds like a love, and likewise Sketch. I am wishing all our feline familiars happy lives, and long ones, too, as it is exceedingly hard to say goodbye.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this, Cate! I’m new to cat life, and have found living with one to be fun and interesting. So much laughter! And the purring!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Bob, and I’m so glad that your new life includes a cat! I’ve enjoyed how dogs show up in your poetry, and now will look forward to the occasional feline cameo, which — cats being who the are — will probably morph into star turns. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She’s already made several appearances. Lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Marilyn Kriete · · Reply

    Spoken like a true cat lover..love this!


    1. Guilty as charged. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it!


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