Poetry & Stories

An Afternoon With the Cat

The curl of your toes
the swish of your tail
Your ever-so-dainty paws
You sit quietly, regally
You own this house
(even though I don't)
and you guard it, and me, with a vengeance.
Pity the unwary intruder (or he who
unwittingly arrives betwixt
you and your intended destination)

You creep through the underbrush
ears flat, eyes harsh slices on your face
I follow, crawling
I cannot be as silent as you.
Above, the thousands, thousands of overgrown leaves
    rustle hotly in the heavy air
Damp, deep green, hanging
Throaty croaks and caws pierce the curtain
and you yawn.

We travel, you and I, in this way
for what seems an interminable time
sneaking swankily through the overgrowth
breathing heavily
We are Hunting.

High above the canopy of tangled vines and trees rise great
    patterns of color, birds in flight,
    moving in great swishes and swirls
    from tree-top to tree-top.
And deep, deep in the wet forest loudly rolls a
tumbling river, brown with traveling silt and
bordered by huge, twisting roots that climb all about
the river banks in a wild show of acrobatics. You rest.
I rest, too.

I send to you the same loving gaze that you
bestow upon me with your gentle eyes.

(Written November 22, 1994, for my cat Ranya while we played in the living room)

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