Sleeping with a Cat

by Ute Carson
(Austi, Texas)

Sleeping with a Cat

I tried to teach Bazaar, our big orange tabby,
to snuggle at my back or lie on my feet,
but he chose my hair as his favorite resting place.

Nose buried in my sparse locks, he purrs
as his soft paws massage the soft strands.
On cold nights he warms me and on hot summer evenings, I swelter under his weight.

Come morning, Bazaar is my alarm clock.
He stretches his supple limbs, nudging my forehead with his.

I do my exercises in bed as he looks on,
tail curled around his hindquarters,
head erect, ears perked.

He waits until I turn off the house alarm,
then dashes out into the still dark dawn.
From our bedroom windowsill, he leaps to the fence top and sets off on his morning rounds in the neighborhood.

As the coffee machine percolates
we hear him scrambling up the cat ladder
my husband built on the other side of the steep fence.

Now comes breakfast which he relishes at leisure. Then, depending on the weather, he ambles onto our porch, eyeing flocks of birds landing on out-of-reach feeders and hisses at the clicking taunts of squirrels.

Occasionally a lizard or a fledging becomes Bazaar’s prey, but at day’s end, his nightly routine begins again as he curls up in the nest on top of my head.

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"A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather." - Judith Merkle Riley

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