Bye for Now, Mama

she came to my back door

winters ago

with two kittens

in tow

i took them in

the vet said all three

had feline leukemia

the kittens passed

soon after

and mama took to

grooming me instead

licking my thinning hair

until strands of it

hung from her tongue

I would pet mama

and tell her she will

one day see her

babies again

and when I cried out

“Mama!” when the

nightmares came

as they’d come since

i was a child, mama cat

was the only one to run

to my side, lick my face,

and remind me that i

wasn’t motherless

after all

this went on

for several years

Until this morning

as i was leaving for

work, having already

counted my other cats

i then found mama

open eyed and on

her side partially covered

in her own urine

though she’d seemed fine

just yesterday

the vet said it might

have been a heart attack

I whispered goodbye

and told her

we will be together

again. And the pain now

Can’t be explained.

For her, and myself,

I prayed the

Rainbow Bridge prayer

and to St. Francis and

Jesus too, then I

searched for a Buddhist

prayer, and though

it spoke of animals

as being our mothers

in past lives,

it would have

me pray for her to be

reborn human, and I

love Mama too much

for that. She was and

still is my Mama

in this life.

–fb