Elegy for a
Lovely Lady Feline


The cries were low yet fraught that balmy ev’n of spring

As there before our gaze stood one minuscule soul.

Cruel hunger drove all fear from her imagining

And pleading eyes our hearts sought out and gently stole.

That Whit-sun 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,

She 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

To share their victuals, home and all she might desire.

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

And 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 ~

Her children yet unborn whom Nature’s wiles had wrought.

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 ~

Daughter and 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

Until ‘twas 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

These months 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,

Rule 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,

Although in 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

And 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,

With 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

To 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.

For 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

To 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

Bequeath the 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 Brahms' 3rd Symphony, Poco Allegretto (one
of the most beautiful melodies in the symphonic repertoire) and
which was adapted in the 1950s to create the popular song
"You're the Song  Angels Sing" - an apt descriptor for Pepper.


Copyright © Gareth Pengwerin
28th October 2009
All rights reserved

A message for animal lovers