I look forward
to when my next door neighbors
leave on a trip.
Although, I have to sneak
over to see them.
My Great Danes would go crazy
if they knew what I was up to.
to feed not one but two kittens.
Bruno and Zeus are listening
to the Oldies station
as I tiptoe
to the gate and quietly cross
into the neighbor’s yard.
As I insert my key into the lock
I hear Meow—and a thump
Cello, the gray and white one
He knows what time it is.
Cyd-- the orange Calico purrs from a distance.
Savoring each moment, I feed them, clean their litter box
and watch them pounce
from desktop to computer
to the chair, and then back to where I am,
one on my lap, the other on the arm of the chair.
At first they welcome my touch
to stroke their fur, and scratch behind their ears.
Then Cyd playfully bites at my fingers
saying-- that’s enough we’re done here.
I am reminded briefly, of a cat that long ago adopted me, named Midnight.
Black as the darkest night, equally fierce and independent.
A Tom cat that preferred the outdoors,
and who would keep me waiting
sometimes for days—wondering.
Then come home after a night of screams and hissing
bloody and bruised
minus some fur, missing part of an ear.
Trailing a long thick string
of slimy green snot.
for food and affection.
to be stroked and
having his tail pulled--but just for a minute, barely --a minute.