For All The Feline Confidantes
In the smallest bedroom
with the brightest carpet
I remember sunlight waking me
before I was supposed to leave my bed.
Then by the squeak of a door, left open a crack
to tame the night dark, I knew our black cat,
had entered to offer a morning greeting.
Strange to say a cat could be your first real friend,
but there he was — my playmate, consoler, the best listener.
On nights when my parents’ arguing spilled under closed doors,
their raised voices disturbing so much more than my sleep,
the cat’s warm body, steady purr, comforting me.
This morning I find my daughter, damp-eyed and tense,
running over worst case scenarios about a spelling test she thinks she’ll fail,
a friend who doesn’t seem to like her anymore, whether she’ll have time
to practice her drums well enough before her next lesson.
Big worries wracking a small body.
My words of reassurance interrupted by our grey cat, pushing into the room,
jumping on her bed and curling up on her belly. She asks me to leave,
tells me she’ll be out in a minute, and as I close the door, I see her lean over,
whisper into his ear. Grateful she has a safe soul to help carry her fears.