FELINE

Granted,
convenience is their strong suit.
Even the tiniest kitten –
just show him the location of the litter box
and basically you’re done.
No accidents, no scolding,
no putting on of boots and coat
over pajamas
at three a.m. to save the carpet.
And they’re affectionate
in their fashion
meaning you awake to find they have
tucked themselves into the curve of your back.
They fall short only in enthusiasm.
Psychologists will tell you
in educated language
that the benefit of the canine pet
lies in the magnitude of
welcoming behaviors.
That is:
Dogs are glad to see you.
Cats sometimes
notice you ‘re home.

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MY OLD CAT PERSISTS

Bad news

Says the vet.

He has perhaps two weeks.

My accounting brain calculates

A life that’s ninety-nine

Point eight percent

Done.

He sleeps inside the arc I make.

Twenty years now, we spoon.

I wish with some shame

That he finishes like this.

I touch him; he breathes.

Now two weeks pass, now three.

He exceeds his point two percent.

Here he comes in precarious shuffle.

I’ve opened the fridge.