For Kafka


He was no bigger than her hand and just four weeks old, too young to be properly weaned. She chose him for his rambunctiousness – and for his pink nose that was entirely too big for his face and made her smile. She swaddled him in an old towel, flipped him unwillingly on his back and coaxed the bottle between his tiny, razor-sharp kitten teeth. “How could anyone be so heartless as to drown a litter of helpless kittens,” she thought as her new companion settled into slurping the milky formula. She had wanted a kitten for months, but her boyfriend had convinced her to wait until he moved in. Well, that wasn’t going to happen now, but at least she had the kitten – more dependable than any long-distance romance. They would save each other.

March 4, 2001 – December 8, 2014

Feline Feedings

The Patient

Kitty received an unforeseen (for him) vet visit yesterday which culminated in a urine sample, shot in the leg, two teeth extractions, sedation – and a $728 vet bill.

Today, he is lethargic and sore. He doesn’t want to eat and, since he is already only a gaunt 7.5 lbs., I’m attempting all sorts of enticements to persuade him to unlock his maw. His repast so far:

    • Fancy Feast (his favorite) mixed with a dose of the nutritious Wellness Core
    • Sardines in water
    • Baby food (both chicken & broth and chicken & gravy)
    • Something called “Kitten Glop” which is a mixture of goat’s milk, mayo, yogurt and a few other ingredients.

So far, no luck. He just looks at me like I’m the world’s worst mother for making him visit the doctor, not touching a morsel.

The Comma

In the witching hour, outside the bedroom door, sat a fat cat with fine vocal capacity who, for reasons unknown, determined he must come inside. The girl, who was lying in her warm bed, decided, after much deliberation, to acquiesce and allow him entrance, while the cat, upon gaining admission, jumped on the bed, made exactly 14 biscuits on the fuzzy green blanket, turned around three times counter-clockwise, settled down and promptly went to sleep until the alarm woke them both at 7:30 the next morning.

My Feline Heart

I have a feline heart.  Treat me as you do a cat.  Do not approach me straightaway or immediately attempt to wrap your arms around me.  I am sure to ignore you and wiggle free.   Do not call my name and pat your lap expectantly.  I will find other things to occupy my interest.  Ignore me.  Become absorbed with something else.  I will quickly and adamantly demand your attention, sprawling myself across whatever it was that you were working on.  Leave that spot on your lap available.  I will find my way to it – eventually, on my own terms.  Once I have decided to stay, then you may love me and I will purr with contentment.  Do not fuss too much over me. Hold me too tight or keep me too close and I will flee.  Lock me out of a part of your life and that’s where I’ll want to be.  Come to me on my terms, be patient with me, do not frighten me and I will show you how I love – enduringly and deeply, but always like a cat.