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Ode to Punkin

I walk into the St. James pound, looking for a birthday present.
An anxious wave floods me when I stroll into the pen,
full of colorful joyful kittens.
I sit down and let the kittens inspect us.
A sickly jet black cat waddles up and sits in my lap.
“Mom, how bout this one?”
We wait two weeks for you to be healed and fully weaned.
II

I nickname you “feral-basement-cat”
because you hide in the shadowy basement.
Even though you pee on the carpet or shed on my bed, I still love you.
I brag about you at school, saying you be silent like a fully trained ninja.

III

You have many nicknames including “Punkybrooster” or “Punkstriss.”
You love your life here and I love you, my little
Punkin. I love how you cuddle up with me and lick my nose.

IV
Your story ends with an open door and a stupid dog.
On a frostbit night an impatient dog whines and pushes the door to the outside open,
and you escape into the cold desolate night—
gone forever.
In the following days I call your name but you never come.
My eyes are red and swollen from crying so hard.
Even though you might be cold, suffering, and alone,
remember,
you always have a nice warm room in the bottom of my heart—
filled with catnip.



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