Her predecessor had been such a lady
Sleek calico, with the emerald eyes and regal charm
Of the Faerie Queene she was named for
(And a propensity to walk through walls).
Eighteen years Queen Mab
Condescended to keep me company
Here in Middle Earth; and when at length
She returned whence she had come
Such was my sorrow
That I was well and truly resolved:
No More Cats.
And it was not even the year and a day
Of the old tales when
This One came toddling
Into my life:
A tiny palmful of drenchy fur,
Pale hazel eyes narrowed into slits
As tho’ even the greyest of daylight
(As it was that rainy autumn afternoon)
Were just too much to bear:
Tiny little fangs bared
In the almost soundless quacky mew
That said, clearer than words,
Help me, woman
Lest I perish.
Little did I guess at the time
That this wee changeling beastie was
Hardly the docile baby she appeared to be:
That only extremity had driven her into my hands;
And that the resentment of gratitude bound her to me.
No sprig of fairy royalty, this time, had come in feline guise
To amuse herself and enlighten me;
No, a sullen poukha or a brownie in reverse, this one:
Exiled from Elfland, not here by choice.
“You saved my life,” it said to me one night
With a tiny disdainful sniff, and a lashing of its bottlebrushy tail,
“So we’ll live together. But
We Won’t Like It.
And useful around the house?
Well, you can forget that.
You’re lucky just to be allowed
To take care of me.
And I may surprise you (and myself)
With a rusty purr or two when you pet me
And I may curl up at your head or feet
But don’t get any funny ideas
And keep your expectations to yourself
And don’t forget to feed me.
That is all. You may go.
Wait! Where you going?”
You were born to be a barn cat, baby
Not your fault you came to on this plane
In a City Market parking lot
But so it was
And so it is
We slouch along and make the best of things
Two feral proud and prickly beings
Yoked together by
By Elliot Jackson, Salida, CO