(for a pet)


our eyes locked

as the vet sunk the

needle into her little soul.    


can you forgive me?

I pleaded far beyond

where tears are allowed to go;

a place inside broken stars

and where mountains

crumble steep when we’re not looking.


I think as I looked up towards

those painful fluorescent lights on

the ceiling, further away into

an unknown abyss

than even she,


I asked of God:

  why my

cat, why now?


the gentle nudge of an ethereal

answer stroked across my sorrow

like a soothing feather,

speaking to my sinking heart:


because I need her.


as I walked away, I heard

the vet’s small voice trailing

the distance

between us…do you want to take her home?


some familiar sound spilled from me

giving him a faint, almost inaudible

yes, but it

sounded more like an echo wherever

they go when they are shattered.


I didn’t even remember words

dropping like dying butterflies

from my frozen lips…


what was left of my

existence came crashing down

all around me once I stepped outside

into winter’s cold, unforgiveable embrace


and into the alien world of a

cruel and cat-less dawn.



© Susan Joyner-Stumpf

  1. debbiebrooks37 says:

    OH i love this Susan… reminds me of my Muffin…..so beautiful..

  2. drtruthman says:

    Oh Susan, so sad. I am reminded ob my little black cat “Chewie” when we had to give him up. It hurt and still hurts to think about that little life gone. He brought joy to us all. Great poem, graphic and video. Good job.

  3. I know. I’ve had so many animals (horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, Guinea Pigs, ect.) that have died in my arms. It never gets any easier.

  4. Rahul says:

    God this has made me moist! Beautiful

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