An orphan cat follows me
down the sidewalk, little collar jangling.
I don’t know his name. I call him
Meatball; he looks like a Meatball.
I think Meatball wants me to pet him.
Think again. Orange runaway
keeps his claws sharp.
I see a wood post with claw marks.
The neighborhood varmints don’t like him.
Garbage cans crash, dashing cats cross,
Meatball a tail length behind. More commotion
out of sight. They know
to stay away
from the post he sharpens his claws on.
Posted in front of his post he watches my approach.
Here he comes again. This rapscallion
escorts me across his block.
A stride behind and keeping steady pace,
he stares at me as I keep going making sure
I stay gone.
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