Tuesday, June 07, 2005

THIS IS FROM LAST FRIDAY, but I just saw it, and it moved me deeply. If you love cats as much as I do, perhaps it will move you, too.

"To My Cat with an Eating Disorder"
by Alice N. Persons

You were thrown out of a moving vehicle
on a dirt road
in chilly winder downeast Maine,
little fur scrap, and I hope you don't
carry that memory with you,
but the hunger, the deep fear
that you'll never see food again
is still there five years later
when you are huge and sleek,
a sumo Buddha of a cat.

I've seen you, after a big meal,
heave yourself from a sound sleep,
pad into the kitchen, launch your bulk
onto the counter, and check the food supply,
then crouch there chewing and chewing,
green eyes empty, concentrating
on your burden, your compulsion,
doggedly eating, whether you want to or not.

There are stories about Holocaust or
Depression survivors whose refrigerators
and pantries are always full, just in case,
how some of them still wake in the night
and check their abundant supplies,
run their hands over the packages,
or eat without hunger, just because they can.

Cat, I stand in the dark kitchen
stroking your broad back,
wishing I could banish the fears
of one small, common creature,
those bad dreams that awaken you,
that hollow place in your memory
which can never be filled.

Thanks to Lis Riba for sharing this.

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