We named you Daisy
for your white fur, because
we liked to name our cats after flowers.
But you were not only a white cat;
you were "odd-eyed white",
one orange and one blue.
Everyone loved your beautiful quirkiness.
You lived as our other cats did,
tame house-cat in the day,
but free to come and go;
half-wild at night,
following your instincts,
even if they were dangerous at times.
Then, one sunny morning,
I saw you from the bedroom window,
running back home, across the road,
and that time it really was dangerous,
as a car came past, exceeding the speed limit,
because in a race between speeding car
and running cat,
in the event of a tie,
the cat loses.
I ran downstairs and found you
by the gate,
but unmoving, unbreathing
Carrying you gently to the back garden,
I laid you on the ground,
preparing to dig your grave,
as Marmaduke, our tomcat, came by.
Not the father of any kittens,
but surrogate to all our females.
After a birth
he knew what to do.
He would visit briefly,
sniff the mother, sniff the kittens,
walk off, apparently unconcerned,
and a day or two later
return with a mouse for mother.
That’s what father cats do,
Only that day there was no birth,
and this time
he sniffed at you,
sniffed at the hole I had started digging,
and walked off
in complete puzzlement.
This time he did not know what to do.