A Tribute to Cuddles

She came to us, a kitten from a stray,

she adopted us and we her.

So she entered our lives and we

thought she would stay.

She was so sweet, so light,

a solid white nondescript breed,

with a meow that rose barely above a whisper.

My wife named her Cuddles cause that's what she liked to do.

She never outgrew her kitten days.

She trusted us and we her.

At meals she would sit in a chair at our table.

Not for the food for she loved her Purina Cat Chow

but just to be sociable... one of us.

She roamed to the yards edge

rarely venturing past the creek

stopping instead in the neighbor’s yard.

Her encounters brought many visits to the vet.

Her wounds mostly from squirrels and rats the vet said,

And of fighting back, not running away.

But then one day she just was not there,

her absence stretching beyond the bounds

of normal roaming and rabble-rousing.

The posters we placed around the neighborhood

eventually grew yellow with age, no calls at all ,

and so we'll take them down, no more visits to the shelter.

We’d like to think she's found another home

but we know the truth is different,

a coyote, perhaps, or something else.

And so I wonder, will there be cats in heaven?

Did God give her a soul?

He did give her a place in my heart, a place that’s empty now.

To know for sure I'd see her there.. Oh my!

But there’s my father, gone for so many years,

and others who may pass before me, they’ll be the ones I’ll see first.

But when the time comes, you see,

to rest on whatever passes for a chair up there

I'd not complain if there was hair in the seat.

To see her stretch, arising from a nap,

to see her stalking rabbits munching the lawn,

or scratching the fence post down by the pond,

To just lie back and have her on my lap,

giving her the unconditional pet she demands,

and receiving the unconditional purrs she gives in return.

A friend from the Antique Radio Forum kindly sent the following after seeing the tribute above on the forum.