Hocus Without Pocus

 

I wish it had been me,
but it was David and I can’t
take that back.
David, who found the neighbor’s cat
curled up dead
just a few months before
yesterday when he
found our own cat
curled up like he was
asleep,
but he wasn’t asleep.
He was stiff and there were
ants on him,
and still my sweet boy
knelt to check
the kitty-cat heartbeat we were all
accustomed to feeling
when we held his furry body close
to ours.
He was our fat mound of feline,
the brother who liked to be held and stroked
and fed all of the time.
Hocus and Pocus
we called them,
two solid black cats
who came from a litter
of twelve abandoned
kittens.
What is Hocus without Pocus?
Skinny cat,
sleek coat,
he wanders room to room
giving that slow pitiful
meow he always used
when looking for his brother.
He has forgotten his aversion to our touch
and crawls into laps,
sleeping peacefully only when we
are near.
He cries at night,
leaping from bed to bed,
pausing to gaze out the back window
where he watched us bury
his other half.
It’s only a cat
I am sure some would say,
and I am well aware
that Pocus was a cat,
not a human,
but he was our cat,
one of our two
therapy cats.
He taught us all
to stay still for longer
than we might have
because we didn’t want to disturb
him sleeping on our laps.
He is in a better place,
I told my boys.
Uncle Greg met him at the gate
and will take good care of him.
In heaven, I said,
there are red laser lights
that Pocus, our kitty,
can actually catch.
All of his feline dreams
are coming true.
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