Cat therapy

There are these cats, these strays we sometimes

hang out with … when I say we I mean him.

Always a soft touch for a purr, the arch of a back …

There’s one in particular, a patchwork

of colours – orange and black on white

and some other, less definable hue

that may be rubbed off with kindness,

much like the photo I’m showing you

only not …

not as well fed or cared for, not so

comfortable in life as to hold

such a self-possessed, indifferent pose

for the camera. No, not alike at all really,

altogether unlovely in fact

but street smarts in spades –

walks right past me to him every time,

climbed inside his backpack once;

he let her nose about a bit then

gently lifted her out. Here’s the point –

just when I think it’s all too flea-ridden,

touchy-feely, they start their D & M.

Sometimes they sit conversing for minutes,

whole minutes! I couldn’t begin to tell you

what they talk about, not exactly but afterward,

he whispers in my ear, in another language

all the things I never knew I wanted to hear …