glistening tears in his big brown eyes, those eyes I spent
hours gazing at when he was an infant, eyes I wanted to dive into,
the eyes of my last child, my easiest child, the child I will not worry about.
How to understand a lifespan when you are five?
This cat is young now, only two, and he has known us for nearly a year.
I think of the concept of eternity, and how would you capture a life?
In its youth? Then it will not mellow over time, will not reach that comfortable place.
In its prime? Then it will miss the energy of youth, and so much of what was to come.
In its old age? Surely if eternity is to be spent in old age, a gaze will always be cast back
upon the days when life was faster, urges were stronger, when there were fights to be
had with the other Toms, when life and adventure lay ahead.
Here I am in midlife, one foot on each side of the apex, wondering what comes next,
and not yet faced with the reckoning of old age. I think again on this cat
and his amazing patience, his affability, his endurance; always wanting to be where the
children are, where the action is, and tolerant nearly to a fault. And I realize that for him,
it does not matter – eternity for this creature could be a snapshot taken at any point in his
life and the child would be happy, the cat would be happy. Eternity would hold no regrets.
And I wonder how I could possibly live to have the same
said of me.
Written 17 Oct 07
Dedicated to Tanner Michael Bennett and Atticus, the most perfect cat