Mister Jack

Mister Jack, the lighthouse cat, died yesterday in his twenty-second year. This is for him.

I missed our Mister Jack this morning,
mammoth purring on our pillow,
fur matched to mine, warming in the dawning.

I miss the sounds that tolled the hours:
the mournful mews, the angry cries, the small miaows
that said hello, or called to meals, or told of terrible things.

I miss the bed-time races,
the herd of tiny feet that trampled
our chests and breasts and faces.

But most of all I miss
those rare and precious head-butts
that paid for all, a thousand-fold.

Winner of the pillow wars,
self-appointed keeper of the hours,
O beloved stampede!

We miss you, Mister Jack.