My Material Life

Ode to a Black Cat

Ode to a Black Cat

There once was a black cat named Mary
who with a neighborhood rogue did tarry
Four kittens had she
underneath a lime tree
in the yard of a couple with nary
a child nor pet, at least not yet

Though not so hesitant to marry
of children and pets they were both quite wary
But before too long they found themselves smitten
with one of Mary’s little kittens
and he soon joined their family
Feline order, however, was not yet to be

You see Mary’s good friend Rhoda
had not reached her kitten quota
Soon three more kittens appeared
Would this never stop the couple feared
But relief from feline helter-skelter
came eventually from two fine shelters

The mama cats settled back down kitten-free
while the couple even welcomed their own human baby
But this paradise was not to last
One day a car went by speeding much, much too fast
and took dear Rhoda away

Dear Mary soldiered on
though her beloved companion was now gone
Through winter’s cold and summer’s heat
her couple made sure she had plenty to eat
with warm shelter from the storms and street

Now her couple is shedding tears
because they’ve lost their Mary dear
Their house won’t ever seem the same
But they’ll always be glad because she came

Mary, November 2012

Mary, November 2012


We lost our at least 15-year-old feral cat Mary most likely from a coyote attack in the wee hours of Monday, October 13, 2014. She was outside because she would not come in. She wouldn’t even let us touch her. But it was our pleasure (and sometimes pain) to care for her through all those years as best we could. Rest in peace Mary.


  1. Kathie

    Colleen, this is a beautiful tribute! Mary, Rhoda, and Stumpy are so lucky to have found you. Our sympathies to you all-it is always so sad to lose a member of the family.

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