My Cat, Therefore

Cat

My cat can cook.
I know this ’cause she drops food
into her water bowl.
Even she can’t stand the taste of boredom.
It makes me more sympathetic
toward alcoholics
and people
hooked on sugared sodas,
like this need
isn’t just a human thing – it’s animal.

At first I thought it was accidental –
that maybe she didn’t swallow her food
properly before drinking;
so it would fall out of her mouth
into the water.
Then the number of pellets increased:
it started with 2 or 3,
then there were 3 to 5,
now it varies from 4 to 8.
Obviously, she needs it stronger
sometimes than others.
I don’t know what could cause this vacillation.
As far as I can tell, her days
are more or less the same.
It’s not like some days
she misses the bus and gets to work late,
or has a bad hair day
’cause she always looks good,
or stresses over inadequate savings,
or worries whether she’s doing enough with her life,
or while watching TV
realizes none
of those
cats looks
like her.

My cat plays fetch.
There isn’t much you can’t train using food.

Maybe that’s why the capitalist spirit is potent;
it works
if
the poor too
think they can get rich –
same for the lottery.
The best religions speak to
the wretched
’cause that’s the biggest market.

I wonder how my cat sees me.
I wonder if she thinks
I am
like her,
except a lot bigger
and scary,
potentially.
She talks to me —
in her language.
She doesn’t know I can’t understand her;
our existences are
galactically
apart.
There’s no way for me to explain to her
who I am.
If I could what would
that change?

 

more by JUN HUA EA

Photograph by Tyler Smith

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  • Loved this! I love how simple observations of your cat brought so much perspective. It’s true that the existences of cats and humans are “galactically apart” but your poem really illustrates how naive the cat is of that discrepancy. However, maybe underneath the differences and human complexities you see a deeper layer of yourself in your cat that you can relate too. Great work!

  • Jun Hua Ea

    Thank you, Anna! Thanks for taking the time to read the poem as well as for the thoughtful feedback. My quirky little calico has taught me a lot. 🙂