Ally Malinenko
She’s thin
and getting thinner.
I watch her wander to the table, rub up against it,
the sad concave of her sides.

I turn back to the cooking food,
pull out a piece of chicken,
crouch down,
coax her forward.

Eat, please, just eat.
Eat and let it stay.
Eat and stop the matting of your fur.

Eat and be better.
Eat and don’t be dying.
Because all I want is for you to be better.

She takes the food,
opens her mouth
pink tongue,
squeaks out a nearly soundless meow.

Like a thank you.
And I fall apart,
because I can’t save her,

I’m so afraid there is something I can do
and I’m not doing it. Something simple
something overlooked, something
like a miracle.

I can love her,
I can clean her and hold her
and pet her and hope but
I can’t save her

and it’s killing me.

because she is old
and sick and
because she is dying,
but also
because she is one of my only friends on this awful planet.

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

Posted on December 4, 2012, in Ally Malinenko and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. The last of Ally’s current submissions. I like her work a lot. And I have great fondness for cats. I’ve even written poetry about some of them. I understand what good friends they can be and how tough it is to lose one.

    Read Ally’s previous two poems by clicking the link and following “Older Posts”:

  2. Everyone who has a cat can empathize with the cry for the life of a cat; when our two cats, one white and male, the other black and female named respectively and respectfully Salt and Pepper
    left the earth within days of the other, the best for humanitarian poets to do is write and bury them in print and peace.

  3. Thank you everyone. And MLR, those poems were beautiful. Truly.

  4. I guess the same can be said for cats as for all living things–cherish them while they’re with us. This poem avoids the sappy, yet is heart rending. Excellent writing. I wish all our animal friends could go through our entire lives with us. Darwin, Wendel and WallyOllyOzzyGus mean more to me today, thanks to you, Ally.

  5. Very moving, I must admit. With dying cats, all you can do is watch them die. Frustrating, heart wrenching, but nothing can ease the pain of that last breath.

  1. Pingback: Dying Cat at Misfits’ Miscellany « allymalinenko

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