The protruding arch of my spine
and the limp in the back quarter
The quiver in my left front paw
when I'm sitting watching you.
It's been that way for a while,
because I've been old for years.
I can't jump up to the couch.
I have to scramble, undignified,
Hauling myself like a seal onto the ice.
I appreciate it when you
carry me up the stairs at night
So I don't have to limp step by step,
And you put me on the bed
where I can press myself against you
Sharing warmth in the cold night.
I wrap my paws around your arm
And dream of younger days, whiskers twitching.
My coat is still soft to the touch,
though parts are more cotton now than silk.
And yet, my eyes are clear,
I still love to play,
and my purr rumbles on.
For I know how to purr
Like no cat you've ever known,
Deep, strong, and comforting.
I don't know I'm on the down slope,
I just know I'm slowing down,
But I may have years left in me:
Don't mourn me till I'm gone.