Father sings Russian lullabies as he drives
the coast road, the island like crushed glass.
We pass beneath the kissing trees.
One, two, three, four, here comes bunny for a run.
Five, six, seven, eight, here comes farmer with his gun.
Ready now, nine and ten…
I watch funny bunny burn in the living
room stove. Ember eyes shine and fade.
Synthetic fur shrivels as flames swallow
my beloved black and hollow.
My fist clenches a secret lock and I crunch
Frosties from a Beatrix Potter bowl.
While recovering in hospital from my brain haemorrhage many years ago I kept dreaming about cats. They were powerful and lucid dreams. Sometimes when I woke in the night gloom of my clinical room I would glimpse cat’s eyes glowing at the end of my bed, or a dark shadow in the corner or the curl of a tail disappearing out the door. I’m sure these visions were the result of trauma and the cocktail of drugs I was taking but at the same time I truly believe in the healing energy of animals, in particular cats. They are mysterious and intuitive creatures. It’s possible to establish a strong emotional bond with a cat, more meaningful because they can survive freely without humans and catch their own food but they choose to stay.
I now have a wonderful cat called Nadia. She used to be a stray but wandered into my home three summers ago and has never left. She shows me more loyalty and love than most humans I have known. One is never truly alone with a cat sharing each day. It’s a delight just to watch her graceful pose. When I wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, now thankfully in the comfort of my own bedroom, I can hear her purring in the darkness and I feel all’s well.