Tom Thumb, with split ears and abscess,
came to us on an autumn night.
A feline atlas with alley hard shoulders,
but a calm, cool warrior nonetheless.
Named for his Hemingway mittens,
an irony of bulk to literary lore,
for he surely would make a short meal
of a murine steed fit for a King’s jester.
His years of wrangling had earned him,
A craggy pelt of scars under a crooked halo,
all wrapped up in a ripe orange hirsute fleece.
There was something about that gnarled old pumpkin,
that found our hearts warm and happy to have him.
Though his life had been hard, he was quick to find
my Mother’s lap to be a very restful place.
Dear Tom spent the better part of a decade in our home.
The years of ease softened his shoulders,
and hastened his purr, though he still had spunk.
The leaves of autumn learned to be weary of old Tom,
for he would shred on sight, the first leaf to fall.
As the years passed, the warmth of the sun,
found more often, Tom sitting with closed eyes,
enjoying the feel of his crimson fur.
Until an afternoon, late in the harvest season,
poor old Tom had been sick.
He sat proud in the sun for one last long sun bath,
warm as our hearts between his apricot strips.
Bast came for her brother the very next day,
to fetch him off to the land that never forgets.
“Fare-the-well dear Tom and may the autumn leaves,
suffer your claws for as long as the sun never sets.”