Elegy for an Old Grey Cat

My old grey cat died today.
I thought he might when I went to work,
And paused by the couch where he lay
Panting, and stroked his matted fur, and when he mewed
I said good-bye.

I drove away, then got the call, “He’s gone —
I held him close when he died.”
And against the shining light of fall I cried
For an old grey cat we loved, perhaps too much, too well.

O God who minds the ways of men and mice,
And sees each sparrow fall (it’s said)
Have a thought, or care, or hope
For our old grey cat, well-loved, who’s dead.


  1. #1 by Liz on Friday 12 October 2012 - 1722

    I have a grey cat, not yet old, and this made me tear up.

    It’s also really good — good enough that I thought it must have been written by a pro poet, and googled the title to find out. (Not that I suspected you of plagiarism– just thought you might have forgotten the attribution.) The images are wonderful (I can see “the shining light of fall” so clearly) and the meter/rhyme are informal in that way of poets who know they’re good and don’t get hung up on counting syllables.

    My grey cat is wandering about and meowing at the injustice of a world that keeps her waiting for her food, but this reminds me that I’m glad to have her, irritations and all.

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