The older cat leaps onto the soft leather
armrest of the two-seater couch, crouches
and sits and waits, surprisingly patient.
There was a time when he would cry any
occasion when he felt we'd kept him
waiting too long for his afternoon meal.

These days he's turned the tables on us,
conditioned us to respond, like the dogs
making Pavlov scribble in that Stivers comic.
We even open windows to let him in
when he climbs onto the house to hunt for birds,
arthritic limp ignored for rooftop thrills,
green flashes of emerald eyes gazing
up with echoes of something ancient, primal.


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