Ann Keiffer


Dulcie's Sunny Large

Before we acquired a cat,
before he became our “kitty”,
before Sunny turned into the
nonsensical nickname, Peeps,
I only tolerated other people’s
pets, felt obligated to greet
their barks or growls or meowls
with appreciative-like sounds
and perfunctory pats on the
head, after which I needed to
wash my hands. To me, other
people’s pets embodied just
a kind of animated thingness.

Now that our kitty crawls up on
my desk to loiter in front of my
computer screen, push papers
on the floor, and paw-paw very
delicately across my keyboard…

Now that Peeps lounges with me
on my swing on warm afternoons,
burying his head in the crook of
my arm or lolling on his back
so I’ll endlessly stroke his chin…

Now that our kitty talks trash
about us if we’ve been gone too
long and communicates he’s
bored by galloping from room
to room to pick up speed, then
leaping on top of the table,
negative attention being better
than no-string and no people
flinging string to pounce on…

Now that I check on Peeps’ where-
abouts about fifteen times a day,
carry him with me onto the balcony
at night so we can marvel at the
moon, and now that he settles
down to sleep at the foot of our bed…

I have discovered I cannot look
into the blue-blue eyes of our
Peeps without feeling that
“somebody’s home.” Not
person-ness, to be sure, but
an aware creatureliness I
recognize now…even in the
eyes of other people’s pets.

Ann Keiffer

Image Credit: Dulcie Andres


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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