You learn to live with the grit
of kitty litter beneath your feet.
You become accustomed to waking
at 2 a.m. to the hwok hwok
sound of hairballs stuck in throats.
You lose your sense of smell, burned
away by the ammonia scent of urine.
You lose your sense of shame, buried
beneath layers of cat hair on clothes,
furniture, and food. You bear
puncture wounds on your chest
from the places you’ve been kneaded
at night. You sleep four feet away
from your husband or wife so your cats
can each have a side. You learn
about body language: tail up
means confident, ears back mean
back off. You learn about territory,
the sides of the house that are claimed
and the smaller side they leave
for you. You learn that there is danger
in every dust ball, a potential prey
in every loose Q-tip or shoelace.
You buy organic cat food, medicine
for bladder infections, stockpiles
of toys to alleviate depression. You learn
that our life is really not about you
and, frankly, it never really was.
(16 poems down, 14 poems to go.)
(10 on prompt, 6 off prompt.)
Yes, I am behind. I had a few rotten days, so on Thursday I wrote an American Sentence and on Friday and Saturday I wrote nothing. I plan on catching up over the next week.
Luckily, today’s prompt asked us to write about something I am very familiar with: cats. I have had Weetzie (top photo) for 11 years and Said(bottom photo) for five years. As you can see from the poem above, they run my life. Everything in the above poem is something I’ve experienced. I love my frustrating animals so much that I would still do it all over again.