I look for Shadow in the shadows,
her blue gray fur, bold yellow eyes,
and the scar behind her right ear.
I miss our catnaps on the couch,
her paws kneading my belly,
her face burrowing into mine,
the tickle of her long white whiskers.
I miss her sideways arched-back hop of delight
and how she would ambush us to count coup.
She walks silently through my dreams now
and appears in my periphery,
a sleek, silent, stalking Shadow in the shadows.
When a hawk flies overhead,
I imagine scraps of Shadow fed its young
who now fledge and plunge into flight.
I hear the owls call in the night, and the rough bark of a fox,
and imagine scraps of Shadow fed their young
who now stretch their great wings to soar,
or scurry into their day beds in the willows.
This morning a coyote near the hay shed
boldly stared at my intrusion. I imagined her belly
full of blue gray Shadow, and her bold-eyed pups
emerging from their den in the dunes,
shadows among shadows.
I love this poem, courageous, honest. My last cat lost a year ago was mostly eaten up when I found him, so it was horrible of course, but also, the transformation that you describe was part of his loss. Thanks.