At times like this the cats move over to let me speak.
Martha has been ill for some time. Well, not really ill, but old. Today she was put to sleep, in my arms, in the garden full of sunshine and birdsong.
I buried her with her brother, Arthur.
Martha lived with us for fifteen years. The gentlest of cats. Hannah was just a year old when I picked Arthur and Martha up from Catherine Street in St Davids in a cardboard box and both she and Tom loved these little ginger fluff bundles. She was always the smallest, and in many ways the kindest of the cats that have lived with us. Not a killer. Almost every night of Hannah's growing Martha would purr her to sleep before heading out to look at the stars, and be back on the bed when Hannah woke in the mornings.
No more. Such a beautiful day. It was hard to tell when she had died the sun was so warm on her fur.
So, if I could have one wish for Martha it would be this: not that she will wait for me at a rainbow bridge in some future. I had fifteen years with her and that was a good measure of time. I hope and I wish that when she has rested for a while she can be reborn as a falcon, wild, fierce. That she can grow wings and sharp eyes and curved claw and scream across the skies, that all this is hers.
Or maybe that is what I would wish for myself and Martha may have other ideas, for cats are independent creatures and that is why I love them so.
I have the memory of her young ginger beauty. That is enough.