“I love cats because I love my home,

And little by little,

They become its visible soul.”

Jean Cocteau


I’ve lost my dear old friend

He was with me twenty years

Sadness fills my heart and soul

There may be no end to my tears

I will never forget the day that I first spotted him 

He had materialized on my dog’s backyard grave 

He was an extremely ragged newborn orange furball

Who taught me how to love again and how to be brave 

I was alone and divorced living in the big city 

I had lost the only thing I cared about - my dog 

I was severely depressed and drinking heavily 

My heart and soul tormented with a dark lonely fog 

But from the moment that he raced into my apartment 

He managed to take away my heartache and my grief 

I’ve often thought that he was a furry angel sent by God 

Who ended my torment – who brought me so much relief 

He quickly taught me many things about the merits of cats

And he eagerly helped welcome more orphans into our home 

He quickly became my devoted inspiring lap perching partner 

As I now soon began penning animal stories, books, and poems 

And each and every night for nearly the last twenty years 

As I finally shut off all the house lights and went up to bed 

He would very silently arrive right next to me on my pillow 

And purr very soft soothing melodious lullabies into my head 

He became very precious to my loving new spouse as well 

As he got older our biggest dog Turbo became his guardian 

Turbo would gently help him manoeuvre up and down stairs 

And watch over him while he napped in the sun without end 

Old age as it always does caught up with him a few days ago 

My wife and I took turns comforting him as he now lay dying 

The rest of our pets each solemnly visited him to say good-bye 

As each of them kissed or nuzzled him we couldn’t stop crying 

Our newest cat, Little Flower, from devastated New Orleans 

Refused to leave his side when he recently became so very ill 

She so lovingly snuggled on the bed with him kissing his neck

And so compassionately keeping him company in death’s chill 

He was such a wondrous friend who helped turn my life around

He was such a very vital part of our ever expanding animal family 

His departure has left such a terrible void in our once happy home 

It will be a long time before this sombre house again fills with glee 

And I know my depression would soon overwhelm me 

If it weren’t for all of these other animals I now care for 

Buddy truly encouraged me to be one of their advocates 

He somehow implanted compassion deep within my core 

But now there’s a huge hole in my heart 

I will miss dear old Buddy for all my days 

And I truly believe that he was Heaven sent 

For he enriched my life in so very many ways 

He truly was our expanding family’s very visible 

And very loyal and very compassionate feline soul

And I knew that terrible agony would quickly arrive 

When the day came that my wondrous friend had to go 

We’ve now lost my very dear sage old friend 

He was at my side for twenty wonderful years 

Utter sadness consumes my heart and soul today 

This page now splattered with my endless tears 

Farewell, My Dear Old Friend, Farewell,

Deep Within My Soul, Your Spirit Will Dwell

Ed Kostro

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Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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