Prodigal Cat by Lorrie LeSage

Prodigal Cat
by Lorrie LeSage  

When I met you, you were just a tiny eight-pound thing who had been left for dead,
or merely overlooked as a trifle by someone preoccupied with more important matters.

Yet somehow despite the odds, you took it upon yourself to survive.
In spirit large and cagey as a lioness, you learned all the necessary skills.

You became a tiny but mighty monarch, in a queendom of your own making–
running with lightning speed to catch a meal, outsmarting the nightly mobs of hungry dogs.

Where others dismissed your beauty as common, I saw evidence of a royal lineage,
Attired as you were in your elegant sun-and-earth-colored coat, and careful velvet eyeliner.

And I understood why mere humans have long-recognized the divinity and magic
that abides within the cat, and why your kind are the chosen familiars of witches.

Over time we became again true and trusted friends, allies in an indifferent world,
our souls having already travelled many miles together in days gone by and long forgotten.

And I saw a deep and holy sweetness still perfectly intact within you,
uncorrupted by suffering.

And in your complete relinquishment of all to the warmth and glory of the moment,
I saw the mirrored-radiance of the One, and the perfection of love at the heart of all creation.

And because of that essential and unperturbable wholeness, I recognized you as my guru,
and you kindly gave instruction on the mysteries, merely through the beauty of your being.

Although the surging waters of time and trials have seen fit to calm awhile and let us rest,
I know that like all rivers you are still a wild, as well as wise, divine and sweet thing.

At your insistence, each night I must open the door to my heart,
and let your tiny frame go, out into the dangerous darkness.

That is Nature’s way, and whatever it is that draws you back there like an addict to her needle,
its tidal pull is vital and lunar, and cannot be obstructed.

And when you return, as often as not, wounded at dawn, I curse you as a crack-head cat,
and wonder if my addiction to you is co-dependent.

Connected yet always separate, now but never forever,
this is the paradox, the great grime and glory of embodiment.

So when I’ve cried and bandaged and doctored and forgiven and forgotten again,
as friends and mothers do, we drink once more a cup of peace from the unfathomable well of love…

My faithless, faithful, prodigal cat and I.

Lorrie LeSage is a retired Mental Health Therapist, and currently lives on a 6-acre farm in Ashland with her husband Tom. Her beautiful cat ‘Sweet Thing’ was already a resident of the farm when they purchased it about 8 years ago, and although it took some time to get to know each other, they are now the best of friends.

 

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