I opened the door
Announcing my arrival, “Hi Mom.”
The cat, sitting on a chair
Jumped down to run away as usual
Marty hates men
It seems me the most
As soon as she sees me
She rockets away
Five years I’ve been trying
To win her over
Not even close
Today, she didn’t run
She stopped just feet away
“Hi Marty.  Here kitty kitty”
She stayed in place
I reached down and scratched her head
Immediately, my mind filled with dread
“something is wrong”
No answer.
Marty turned toward the bedroom
I shook my head
It was if she was asking me to follow
Physical response to tell her no
She turned and meowed at me
“What’s the matter, Marty”
I asked the question though
I didn’t want to know
She came back to me
Rubbing her black, white, gray fur around my legs
Against the back of my calves she pushed
A hesitant step, Marty ran ahead
Into the room, calling me
Meow, meow, meow
So grating upon my ear
A cat’s voice instilling fear
People talk about walking in slow motion
Feet feeling like concrete
These metaphors aren’t even close
I won’t try to compare
Numbly I turned the corner into the room
Mom was on the floor
Marty on her chest pawing
Feline version of CPR
I could tell it was no use
“Marty, come here.”
Her pawing continued
I reached to pick her up
She curled into my arms
As if I her master 
In that moment, my soul enlightened
When we need love
We’ll even go to those we hate
“I’ve got you Marty.
I’ve got you.”