Sooner or later in the night,
He’d spring onto the bed,
Advance along my flank, and curl
And settle by my head.
I’d stroke his coat to welcome him,
Amused that he should treat
The hive of human intellect
As just a source of heat.

Yet on his last trip to the vet,
He knew I was distressed.
He buried, as I cradled him,
His head against my chest,
And, on my shoulder, placed a paw
And seemed, though drained, to be
Making an ultimate, resigned
Attempt to comfort me.

After his death, I told myself
His was a lucky life.
A starving and flea-ridden stray,
He found me and my wife
And lived with us some sixteen years:
Millions of felines fare
Far worse and never have a chance
Of knowing love or care.

Still, sometimes, waking in the night,
I miss him, and I nurse
The hope that, in the Consciousness
Which dreams the universe
And comprehends all that occurs,
We sleep and wake together
As we did in this lifetime, brow
To brow, nose to nose leather.