by Rhys Feeney

Whether we lost our cat
or he lost his himself
I still don’t know.

He didn’t wake me up
in the mornings for checks,
didn’t watch me take my meds.

I lost my appetite
knowing somewhere he
wasn’t eating.

For a while, he was locked
away in a shed or a garage,
I lost track of the days.

I don’t know what he did
(cats can sleep for 20 hours a day)
but I know that he cried

and scratched at the walls,
begging someone to let him out.
Outside, sparrow wing-fall

tortured him. I remember
when I was locked away
for a week, I too

cried and scratched
and slept most of the day.
(Out on the patio, in the sun

watching the clouds
move freely. I was very
much a cat then.)

We both got out
and helped each other find peace.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My cat, Rocket, basking in the garden sun a week ago (Photo by A. Davida Jane).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: About a year ago my neighbours went on holiday for about a week, and at the same time, my cat disappeared. He’s normally very affectionate, and it was shocking when he didn’t come home. We did he usual “Lost Cat”-poster charade, but he just turned up by himself one day, starved and scared. This poem plays on what I imagine his experience was, and my own in a psychiatric hospital.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rhys Feeney is a 20-year-old British-born poet living in Wellington, New Zealand. He’s a recent BA graduate in English Literature and Film Studies from Victoria University. His poetry has previously appeared in blackmail press, The Rising Phoenix Review ,and -Ology Journal, and he writes regularly for the music blog Daydream Nation. He’s a cat person.  More of his writing can be found online at rhysfinneywriting.tumblr.com.