Monday, June 01, 2009

Felix The Cat

Feed and Seed basks in the heat of summer
hay bales and barbeques outside
inside the smell of fertilizer cool in
the dim light of a sixties era strip mall.

Genuinely there for seed and feed, we divert,
because no trip is complete without cruising the critter section.
Past the ferrets and bunnies and the wall o’ pooches
stands a plexiglass tube four feet around
and six feet high, chock full o’ kittens.

Most of the citizens of this feline condo are perfect
So Cal examples of kittiness; tiny, ridiculously fluffy,
huge green eyes, like pictures of waifs
on the back cover of Readers Digest.
Tan and brown and white, they mew demurely and
bat their long kitty lashes at passersby.
Their magic is strong, they slay the adoring crowd
and fly out the door at forty five bucks a pop.

In the penthouse level of the condo lies a black and white form
easily four times the size of his comrades. Ungainly,
the antithesis of cute, when he sees Monica approach
he rises like an over the hill circus clown,
takes a surreptitious hit from his kitty hip flask
and prepares for one more go.

He locks eyes with her and she is done; he had her at hello.
He stretches gangly front paws towards her, ducks his head
and does the secret kitty dance of the many veils; she is smitten.
He poses, twists and fawns, his eyes never leaving hers,
look into my eyes pretty lady, for you are taking me hooooome.

“That one?” says the clerk with a tone bordering on
a sneer, “Really? You can have him for ten bucks”
and we do and before the trip home is half over
he is named Felix for obvious reasons.

Any owner of cats knows the jokes;
you are a can opener with legs,
dogs have owners, cats have staff…
Feline arrogance has earned this label
and no cat worth its fur will deny it.

But this was no ordinary cat.
With a new lease on life he grew fat and sassy
but never took it for granted.
If you were human and entered the living room,
no matter your standing in the pack,
his head rose from his favorite spot
under the coffee table and he locked eyes with you,
and in his best telepathic voice, said “Thank You.”

This he did for all of his days.

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