The receptionist
at my veterinarian
came out of the
office and handed me
the last remains of our
14-year-old cat Fluffy

Fluffy was the oldest
of the four pets in our house
Fala The Wonder Dog
the 12-year-old Silky Terrier
Ninja The Stealth Cat came
into the house 10 years ago
Coco Cream The Wild Kitten
a 3-year old motion machine and
is missed as a fourth child would be

She had a stomach tumor and
although she had steroid injections
and daily medication
she slowly wasted away
dying at three pounds

It is difficult to lose any pet
and in 43 years of marriage
we have lost many but
collectively this is our best group

Moreover perhaps after 43 years
we may feel our own mortality more
yet we are grateful for the 13 years
with this very sweet cat

John F. McMullen is the Poet Laureate of the Town of Yorktown, NY, a member of the American Academy of Poets and Poets & Writers, the author of over 2,500 columns and articles and 10 collections of poetry, and he hosts of an Internet Radio Show (300 shows to date).