In the pale dawn a yowl wakes him,
a whirr of fur clawing at the bedroom door.
“Blasted animal” he mutters, reaching
for his thread-bare dressing gown.
In the blue kitchen, he stumbles, knocks
his hip on the cutlery drawer, swears
he’ll never have a pet again. He stabs
the opener at the jagged tin, heaves
at the fishy smell. The cat purrs,
weaves a cradle between his stringy calves.
“Out of my way nuisance”, he moans.
In the grey-turning, gold-turning light
he sighs, sips his tea, thinks of his wife
how she tenderly loved; stoops
and strokes the cat’s knotted spine,
notices for the first time how frail he’s become.