Saturday, October 3, 2009

After A Long Cessation, A Moment of Companionship

At the automatic teller machine, a tom cat trotted across
new mown grass, up a sidewalk, tail held high in the sudden
autumn breeze.

I meowed, something I am sure I have not done since I was,
oh, maybe three or four years old - five at the oldest.

Losing track of the cat, I finished my business, then felt
him brush between my legs, heard his growling meow. I saw
his dark tiger stripes on a gray coat, looked into his green
eyes, measured his whiskers, felt him dos y doe between the
legs of my faded jeans once again.



It was a matter-of-fact exchange, something between a little
old man and a little old tom cat. I bent to stroke his fur,
scratch behind his ears. He shook his head rapidly side to
side, said, "Meow" again, and began to trot beside me toward
my pickup.

As I mounted the plain jane Chevy, he squatted and left his
calling card precisely at the corner of the clipped grass,
the sidewalk and the curb of the cross street beside the
bank, said a "Meow," farewell, and wrapped his tail around his
hindquarters, licked his chops, raised his nose to the

I drove away, thinking of the price of friendship. A large
can of tuna would make us inseparable companions for life.

Such a bargain.

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