The old grey cat spent his days
drowsing tranquilly on the bed
of the first child who was gentle
with him from the day he was first
put on her lap and her little hand
stroked him from head to tail.
The second child patted him hard,
rubbed his fur roughly.
Ephraim would slink outside.
He would sit with the woman
in the garden as she
weeded, planted, pruned.
One day sharp pains invaded his gut,
the vet said they could only ease them.
Ephraim went to sunbathe on the roof
but could not climb back down.
His cries of pain brought the
woman up the ladder to his rescue.
Now he stayed on the first child’s be
bed, only sometimes going outside.
Early one Sunday, opening one eye,
he saw no readying for work
or kindergarten that day.
He slipped into sleep, the deepest sleep,
and they left him on the first child’s
bed for final tearful goodbyes.
Later that day the man dug a grave
between clumps of blue grass
in the garden. They covered Ephraim
with soil, flowers, farewells.
For several days the children placed
flowers on the little grave, finally
seeing Ephraim was resting forever.