Poetry Friday: “At the End of Her Ninth”

We said goodbye to my cat, Cleo, last week. She was 17 1/2 years old – so it really felt like losing a big part of the family. She was like my daughter, my wife, my grandmother, and my angry next door neighbor all rolled into one.

At the End of her Ninth

Cleo - 17 years oldThe click of claws, wail
proclivity for curiosity
feline force of will
mouths one last, silent

– © 2015, Matt Forrest Esenwine, all rights reserved

Please be sure to visit Tara Smith at A Teaching Life for today’s complete Poetry Friday roundup!


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26 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “At the End of Her Ninth”

  1. Matt, I have a 17 1/2 year old cat named Cleo whose health I worry about on a daily basis! As my daughter would say, we’re “twinsies.” I’m sorry for your loss. It’s hard to part with someone who has been with you for so long. Lovely poem with great vocabulary (ten points for “proclivity” alone).


    1. Thank you, Tabatha. I liked the musicality of those rhyming words, and also felt they (along w/ proclivity) added something – subconsciously – to the sense of the intelligence of the cat. I hope you have many years with your own Queen Cleo!


  2. I know just how this feels, having had to say good-bye to a few of our aged furry family members fairly recently. It isn’t easy AT ALL! I hope you soon fill that void with another “meow”. It REALLY helps. They are never the same personality, but somehow it helps to have a “stand-in” who becomes your new buddy and helps take your mind off the loss.


  3. Sorry about losing Cleo — what a good long life she had! I like “feline force of will/unbreakable,” and enjoy pondering the singular mystery and fascinating personalities of cats. I hope you write more about her in the future.


  4. Matt, I’m sorry you have had to say farewell to Cleo. I do know that emptiness. Currently, I am concerned for our Pearl, who even though her high blood pressure is controlled with meds, offers up throaty meows making us wonder if something else is awry. I like the rhyming adjectives that tie the poem together. Superb title, too!


  5. That you wrote for her is such a blessing, Matt. I’ve said goodbye to many pets over the years, and never got used to the hole they left. I’m sorry for your goodbye, see that you will miss Cleo very much.


  6. Matt, so sorry about your loss. I’m not a cat person, but have said goodbye to many dogs. It really does leave a huge hole. Have you read THE MAINE COON’S HAIKU by Michael Rosen? It’s a CYBILS nominee and I’m recommending it to all my cat loving friends.


  7. Leslie Skimmings

    Hello Matt,
    I’m so sorry about your cat, a family member for so long. My thoughts are with you. Your poem is a beautiful tribute. Leslie Skimmings


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