An old cat in sunshine

7 June 2008

Our cat is 18 this month, and is showing signs of age – thyroid problems, arthritis, and so on. The warm weather of the past couple of days has tempted her into the garden, which reminded me of the poem Gavin Ewart wrote – late in his own life – about an old cat of his.

A 14-Year-Old Convalescent Cat in Winter

I want him to have another living summer,
to lie in the sun and enjoy the douceur de vivre
because the sun, like golden rum in a rummer,
is what makes an idle cat un tout petit peu ivre

I want him to lie stretched out, contented,
revelling in the heat, his fur all dry and warm,
an Old Age Pensioner, retired, resented
by no one, and happinesses in a beelike swarm

to settle on him – postponed for another season
that last fated hateful journey to the vet
from which there is no return (and age the reason),
which must come soon – as I cannot forget.

Gavin Ewart (1916-95)

{Thanks to Stephen Stewart’s blog Miles to go before I sleep, which had an online copy.)

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One Response to “An old cat in sunshine”


  1. […] this year about my ageing cat. Today she made her last journey to the vet’s. At last she had ‘another living summer’ before she […]


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