• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08

PS. remember to feed the cat

He’d survived the heart attack.
He’d escaped the virus, which
he’d been told targeted people his age.

He felt like he was dying.
He felt like a spectre tucked behind the ghosts of
pets past.
He barely had the energy to feed his cat let alone the cattle.

At least that’s what he thought before he remembered that
there was no cat and no cattle.

His new world wasn’t black and white or even shades of grey.
His vision only recognized brown and tan.
His least favourite colours.

Tan like the walls
around his bed, chair, and night stand
in the institution people
called a home
with care.

Brown like the dirt
which stayed in the
cracks of his hands
no matter how hard
he scrubbed.

Dirt which he could no longer find.


PS. remember to feed the cat

He’d heard once that people born
colourblind don’t see the world as tainted, but for
him the loss of colour made everything
appear dipped in mud.

The dirty hues depended on the light, but
daffodils, irises, and even poppies weeped
brown tears.

These tears which he couldn’t articulate
or let fall from his own eyes.

He couldn’t bear to see what tricks his eyes
would play on the bright yellow of his beloved
canola fields.

The colour blindness
may have been emotional, but
it left him wandering amongst
the ghosts of pets past.

When he tried to pat their heads, they
puffed away like wisps of brown smoke.

A colour which has no place in a world where
smoke should be white and grey.

The loss of each plant
each season, weighed on him
like the needs of his current cat.

The most important part of the note was how and when to
feed the cat.


PS. remember to feed the cat

Now in the old folks home, he wasn’t allowed to
have a cat.

He’d written the note when he’d left to enlist in
the Korean conflict.
The cat survived the war
safe at home.

The cat introduced him to his wife. Its pitiful yowls in
the rain.
A black and orange paisley kitten no bigger than his palm.
They’d took turns drip-feeding her milk.

The note had never been about feeding the cat.

Now sitting in his chair
looking out of a window, at a world
which banished all engagement,
he realized he’d forgotten her name.

He remembers the paisley cat, but is never sure which
of the silver haired women, he’s supposed to kiss.