If You Arrive Before I Do

He may be on a windowsill
inspecting the world through half-interested eyes.
He may be in a kitchen mopping up sunlight
from a blue-tiled floor.
If there’s a den,
you might find him curled around a flat screen,
paws dangling over keyboard,
watching an angel tap out an email to God.
Or perhaps he’s in a dining room,
a long stretch of orange on tiptoes
patting some soul’s hand for a bit of bagel,
a bite of fortune cookie, a lick of peanut butter.
If not, scout the air for a trail of incense:
Salmon and Shrimp,
Chicken and Cheddar,
Turkey Florentine.
Follow it to his star-flecked plastic altar
that could have been nosed into any room of the place.
He’ll likely be before it, prostrate,
high priest of his own religion.
Or stand perfectly still.
Listen for a soft pad across hardwood.
Listen for the faint click of claws disappearing
around a corner or up a stair
as he heads for who knows where.
And if all that fails,
or if he’s too busy to be bothered,
tuck yourself into a comfortable bed.
Sink into pillow-clouds.
Before long he’ll leap up
and settle on your chest, stone-heavy,
a great sphinx in miniature.
And if he’ll permit you,
Rub him gently behind the ears.
Scratch him under the chin with a single, curled finger,
as if you were beckoning him closer for a kiss.
And when the warm cinnamon of his smell caresses your cheek,
and the thrum of his purr covers you like cashmere,
tell him I’ll be there soon enough,
with all the new flavors of Fancy Feast
he never got to try.

5 comments for “If You Arrive Before I Do

  1. Jeanne Gambino
    April 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Wow Jim….I just loved this…what a tribute to Kitt…beautifully expressed…touched my heart…thank you for posting this…Luv your site…!!!!

    • Jim
      April 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

      Thanks! :-)

  2. Maria Ruzzano
    April 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Jim,
    I can’t wait to show Jenna your website!! This is an Amazing poem!!!! Thanks for this beautiful site to look forward too!!

    • Jim
      April 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

      :-) Thanks!

  3. Donna and Ozzy
    April 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    This is my favorite poem. Long live Kitt = ^,,^ +

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