We called her ‘cat woman ‘ with nothing but love and affection.

Cats came from every part of the neighbourhood to receive their daily tid-bits.

Sometimes I thought her own cat was jealous, but he too enjoyed the company.

She gave all her visitors, names; my two she called ‘Blacknose’ and ‘Pirate’,

Even after she knew their real names, Riley and Rio.

I first got to know Barbara through a conversation with her daughter, visiting from Greece.

Also notes attached to Rio’s collar when she was worried about his ‘poorly paw’.

Then we exchanged phone numbers so I could report on Rio’s progress at the vet’s,

Barbara had a little stool so Rio could sit at her side and share her breakfast yoghurt.

He was always the first of her visitors, coming in through a window she opened for him.

He was always the final visitor at night, enticed out with a piece of ham

And strict instructions to go home to your mummy which he did,at 8.30 on the dot!

At Christmas my cats always received their presents.

Barbara duly despatched one of her daughters with something nice for me!

I used to call round for a chat, we became good friends.

As she proudly told me stories  I felt like I knew her family too.

Poor Rio misses his second mum and spends more time at home.

He follows Riley around like a little lost soul.

I believe that Barbara passed over to the Summerlands,

Where she can still watch over all her beloved cats.

Oh Barbara Cat Woman you are so sadly missed,

Yet you would chide us for our sentimentality.

So I ask God and Goddess to bless you and keep you safe.

May your memory live on in the hearts and minds of those that love you,

Human and feline both!

©Carolina de la Cruz – The Vixen of Verse – 2015


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