As there before our gaze stood one miniscule soul.
Cruel hunger drove all fear from her imagining
pleading eyes our hearts sought out and gently
That Whitsun night she drows’d content beneath a tree;
Our proffered supper blessing her dreams like mystic charm.
With morning breeze aroused and new found hope set free,
crept into our lodge - a sanctuary from harm.
A resolution firm made she without our ken,
As lady feline basked before the flick’ring fire
And had elected benefactors there and then
share their victuals, home and all she might
Had she a former name or home we little knew,
But by her coat of fur in complex hues of brown
A name of names was given our companion true
Pepper was born to rule the house without a crown.
Thus the family grew by one, or so thought we,
Till all were made to realise that she had brought
A hidden brood within her womb full secretly ~
children yet unborn whom Nature’s wiles had
The weeks advanced to hail a fine Midsummer night
When, ere the second morning hour had pealèd out,
Four bedded fruits her instincts formed now sought the light ~
sons, while she toiled diligently throughout.
Thence as six moons waxed and six moons duly waned,
A mother’s art in full perfection dazed us all.
Nature Herself this modest soul had primed and trained
deemed the rearing bonds should gently fall.
Thus did we understand creation’s magic flair,
Far more than one may ever glean from sacred page.
Our graceful friend was ever wont to freely share
of vibrant life our being did engage.
Pepper, companion, ward and loving friend in one
Bright person, who might change within a moment brief,
Could from master’s chair, with occupation done,
the house entire to our stunned disbelief.
Oft lay she in hall or yet in kitchen warm
And call to whom might hear and answer deign return.
Such conversations soon became the order’d norm,
long exchange could we no sense discern.
Was this communication simple meant to reach
Some deep instinctual yearning of her veilèd mind?
Or did she strive to emulate the big cats’ speech
thus within the house become e’en more entwined?
The morning hour would find her in the patrons’ bed,
A lengthy hour of fond attention to demand.
Then down the winding stair on tiptoe to be fed,
tail and head aloft she’d voice her brisk command.
Then trot she would to face the door and there remain.
And if the sky did suit her mood or yet the scene
Did wake her curious gaze, her ladyship would deign
visit firethorn, rose and conifers of green.
And so the months and time did pass in simple deeds.
Our lady puss grew full of years, remaining sweet
To her two chosen carers tending all her needs.
thirteen years they cherished Pepper as was meet.
Alas the warning clouds her health and strength betrayed
As unfamiliar form grew deep within her frame.
A final loving choice was resolutely made
grant a deepest sleep unto her spirit’s flame.
How does a tender life encroach upon us swift,
Embedding traits and wiles so deep within our minds?
Etched in our hearts the mem’ries that were her gen’rous gift
love that clothes us round like subtle winds.
In loving remembrance
of dear Pepper
who fell sleep on the morning of
Friday 23rd October 2009 - a beautiful soul passed from our sight
but the memories remain unabated.
The embedded track is
the slow movement
from Brahms' Third Symphony,
one of the most beautiful, restful and haunting melodies in the classical
repertoire. It was made into a popular song in the 1950s which
is a final descriptor of Pepper - "You're the Song Angels Sing"!
Copyright © Mel
aka Gareth Pengwerin
28th October 2009