Why the “Crazy Cat Lady” Won’t Date You

A single woman with a cat
should not be condemned;
she has not misplaced her heart
only shared it with someone deserving.

Single or married,
male or female,
green with tentacles;
it should not matter at all
but only that a homeless feline
has found love and shelter.

Owner and pet
share the reciprocity
of compassion.

Something the critic lacks

The Disappearing Mr. Mistoffelees

Black and tuxedo cats
are the least likely to be adopted from the shelter
and the most likely to be strays.

I found one at a Jewish graveyard
who stayed all day under a bush
once I had fed him and passersby began doing the same
he was too afraid to leave a place with regular meals
and greeted me with head-butts.

Weeks later, he was gone.

I found one brushing against my legs
as I ate by the dockside
meowing plaintively at me
until I combed through its back and found
sharp bones underneath my fingers.

The restaurant nearby didn’t own it
so I left it a can of cat food
I bought a few blocks away.

It meowed as I left
but could not leave
its meal behind.

It was gone the next dusk.

I called no one because the no-kill shelters are full.
Because my building can’t let me home a pet.
Because in reality, I am allergic to cats.
Because all the people I asked once before said no.

Because no one wants a black or tuxedo cat.

Humans are prejudiced with their animals, too,
and prefer the aesthetic appeal of stripes
or the cuteness of kittens.

Cat Existentialism

On padded feet you approach the window
And gaze out into the sky
I wonder what is it you think of?
I wonder what peace makes you contemplate
The world which you inhabit moment by moment
That state of being
That state of living
Without even knowing your mirror reflection
That reflects your eyes and nose and ears
Is a reflection of you
But it isn’t, is it?
Nothing can reflect your soul

Abandoned

When I was a little girl
My greatest sin was leaving
A kitten in the rain
Abandoned and alone, crawling along
the pavement, kneeling at my feet
Too afraid
To cuddle up to me

I reached down to stroke it
And it gratefully wiped itself dry on my jeans
Purring all the while

Want to keep it, I conferred with my sisters
Could not keep it, agreed with my sisters
And left it on the other side of the road
Crying after us