The Walk On
She was a walk on
over a dozen years ago.
and so hungry
that she let down her guard.
She meowed loudly and long to attract attention, came inside
and scarfed Sally Puff’s cat food from the blue bowl on the floor.
She has stayed all these years.
She still hunts birds and baby rabbits in the spring
and mice in the fall.
She can’t give up seeking her own food;
her ancestral callings urge her.
But she is purringly glad for the sunny spot on the bed in winter
and the cool kitchen tile in the summer.
Sometimes she longs to be petted,
but she cannot bear human touch for long--
she twists and spins away after a few strokes.
She sets clear, firm boundaries with the dogs
who have come and gone during her long tenure.
She smacks them on the nose if they get too familiar,
but she will rub against them and even nap with them
if they understand their place in her scheme.
She is patient with our slow understanding.
She sits by the door and looks up at the doorknob
and then back to the nearest human.
She waits for her psychic message to be received and acted on.
And when she wants back in,
she looks through the window
into the kitchen
until she catches someone’s eye
and the door opens for her again.
She maintains her dignity
and her solitude
and her mystery.
Where did she come from?
And how did she know to choose this house?
You fat, furry, softly breathing pile of gray catness
sleeping in a square of sunlight on the rug on the floor by my computer.
What are you dreaming about? Most of your life is spent in sleeping
so your dream life must be rich and full. Your life is your dream life mostly.
You go outside on occasion but I don’t know what kind of business you conduct.
I sometimes see your housemate, sleeping underneath the birdbath or camouflaged in the garden border and she still occasionally brings in a baby rabbit or a young bird or mouse. She is short haired, a ragged, motley tortoise shell cat who had at one time, before she found us, to make her own living by what she caught.
But you, with your long gray fur and your lovely green eyes, you look like you have descended from a long line of cats who didn’t have to work for a living. Your ancestors’ food was provided for them, I think.
I wish for one hour I could live in your body and know your world directly. I would know what you dream about and why you breathe and purr so quietly inside that fat, gray, furry self that you are.
Veda for the Poplar Grove Muse