Forever Home
(In memory of Mr. Spock, my favorite cat forever)

by Diana Henderson
December 29, 1990

Your spirit roams the land still
With padded footfalls ever silent;
Your wails echo on within our hearts
No pale meows for you,
No whispered kitten mews,
But rather the call of some wild wanderer,
Who claims dominion
Over every heart he touches,
Every blade of grass his paws may cross.

Isn’t that you walking beside me
Or trotting up ahead
Beneath this poplar canopy—
A glimpse of cornflower blue cat eyes,
Of cream and grey velveteen?
Ghost-like memories merely,
A thousand moments,
Little flashes, fleeting,
That pass within my mind
As I pass here within your realm,
Your forever home.

There . . . strolling amid fallen leaves,
Bounding up that blackgum tree
Then looking down so longingly,
With infant cries that say,
“Rescue me.”

There . . . crouching in the tall grass,
Stalking unwary prey,
Alert and vigilant you stay,
Prepared to strike
That pair of legs
That soon must pass your way.
Upon attack you find yourself greeted
With shrieks of laughter—
Not quite the response you were after,
But one hug takes it all away.

There . . . upon the rocks,
Sitting majestically,
No poor shepherd watching o’er his flocks,
But rather a king surveying his lands . . .
Until pride bids good-bye
And animal heart unlocks
To the simple key of open arms,
To that best, most special place,
A human heart,
A warm embrace.

There . . . sunning on your favorite bench.
Another ghost seated beside you—
A girl with long brown hair
And eyes never quite as blue
As those sleepy ones that gaze toward her
With their clear cornflower hues.
As she whispers into the wind,
“Oh, sweet Spock, how I love you.”
And you answer with a purr
And the love of perfect innocence
That surely she herself once knew.

Spirit is never gone.
Though today she stands alone above your grave,
Above the flowerbed now overgrown,
Where once you played and hid among the summer blooms;
Though winter chill and mist cut her to the bone
As in stark December she gazes down at that small mound of clay
Marked only with “Cat Crossing” sign and marble stone,
And once more she utters your name, a whisper,
Blown by the wind to some forgotten magical place,
Where you, dear cat, live forever and are forever home.

© 1990 Diana Henderson

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