• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 08

An Aging Cat’s Complaint

I was a queen once before you found me.
I whelped a litter of kittens, princes,
princesses all, albeit in the street.
With my rasped tongue I combed all the clots

of blood from their fur as I nourished them
with the milk of myself. Now my litter
box is clotted with my waste. My method
for cleaning scabs is to ply my tongue there.

Safe from the predations of coyotes,
foxes, and hawks, I sleep all day and crunch
with hurting the kibble you dole out. Fleas
cannot get me here, but my back hunches

at the sound of screaming. My claws get caught
in the carpet. I compete with the kids
for your merest affection. I have not
killed a mouse, even a cockroach, in years.

My fur falls out. I look more like the rats
I used to mouse than a proper feline.
The wood paneling hems me in. I must
Venture out among the bushes and trees.