rich quatrone | my cat's become agoraphobic


she talks to me. this is
not a “meow.” this is a speech
she’s concocted.
she’ll talk and stand
near the door at the top
of the stairs.
so i put her little red collar
on and i’m talking back to
“you wanna go out, cleo?
you wanna go out?”
she talks more passionately.
i go to the bottom of
the stairs
and open the door wide. i go
outside and i call to her.
come on, cleo. come on,
encouraging her with my
most tender human talk.
i can hear her talking all
the way down the stairs
and then her shiny black fur
appears and her golden eyes
and she’s talking up a storm.
this morning she actually
bolts out the door
and runs to the side
of the garage. it’s here in
the past that she’d disappear
along the neighbor’s fence and
not be seen again till later in
the day or till tomorrow or
even tomorrow night.
but, alas, not this morning.
she is out there yapping her
feline attempt at the speech i’ve
inherited from the greeks and latins
and saxons and shakespeare.
and then she bolts across
the path and back
into the apartment.

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