an ode to our kitten

today we had to say goodbye to our beloved family cat
who I just called kitten,
or kitty
because she was always so petite.

she had been unwell for a few months with kidney failure but when she disappeared on Saturday
we thought she'd gone somewhere to die alone, as cats often do -
and on Sunday having looked everywhere
we were sure she'd gone.

then this morning
she appeared
curled up on the back doormat
in the spot she often waited so patiently
for mama to give her a cuddle and feed her.

but she wouldn't eat, or drink,
and had deteriorated so much
her back legs weren't working properly anymore.
We decided to release her from all the pain and discomfort.

I still remember when she was so tiny and new
you could fit her in your cupped hands -

She was quite peculiar,
liked sleeping on newly washed black clothes,
and playing the piano -
(I think she was the child my mother always longed for;
one who would play her beloved instrument)

She was an especially accomplished hunter,
always mice and rats and cockroaches
seldom flighty creatures.

Silk monkey,
black velvet,
funny old thing.

We love you.
and have buried you in your favourite spot
in the front garden
under the birds nest fern
where its all cool and leafy -
sleep at peace