Ann Keiffer

Why No Poems, Ann?

Some of you, dear readers, have actually asked if by some mistake your name has fallen off my e-mail list, because you haven’t been getting any poems. No, none of you are fallen people. The problem is I have fallen for a cat. Sunny, by name. And my writing has suffered, fallen into neglect.

Our relationship began, as so many do now, on the internet. Sunny posted an accurate photo–oh, those blue eyes, that creamy angora fur! He looked like the former Birman stud cat he was. Sunny wrote that he did not like taking long walks, but he loved cuddling, dining in, napping, exploring, and being well-groomed. I couldn’t help myself. He was clearly “the one.” The deal was done.

I have never had a cat. Sunny was to be my first. I had so much to learn!

There followed weeks of e-mailing back and forth about Sunny’s likes and dislikes, intensive internet cat-blog reading, and internet shopping, with Amazon, UPS and FedEx nearly daily at our door.  Freeze-dried chicken, a case of Chicken for the Cat Lover’s Soul food (honestly), little dishes, cat beds, a cat water fountain, scratching posts, toys, and an uncarpeted birch-wood cat spiral staircase that looks like an elegant, empty display shelf.

Sunny and his handler flew all the way from Illinois just before Christmas. It was very traumatic for Sunny–and for his handler– when they had to part. Sunny spent several days under the bed in the guest room. I spent a lot of time lying on the floor looking at his gorgeous self while he was sleeping. Sunny was so utterly freaked out that one of those early nights he threw up six times. I tried to comfort him by offering him a warm heating pad–which ALL cats are supposed to like, but evidently nobody told him. He rejected all ministering from me for a tiny hidey-hole space under the hanging clothes at the back corner of the closet.

Sunny is slowly acclimating. He likes us fine. As long as we don’t try to touch him too much. He rubs our calves, ankles and feet, bumps his head on us, does a cat-flop-and-stretch right beside us that looks very like he is inviting endless petting–but not so much.

And we’re finding out those things he neglected to tell us in his internet posting, behaviors he seems to be trying out now that he’s on the left coast, on his own and pretty sure these humans are cat-clueless. He chews electrical cords–including but not limited to my iPad charging cord! He is oh-so-ever-so tempted to play-bite. He tries to bite the brush during the grooming all Birman cats are supposed to perceive as loving attention. He will only climb the expensive cat staircase if I put the expensive freeze-dried chicken treats on one of the high steps. He still plays hide-and-don’t-seek every day. He thinks cat toys are boring–prefers electrical cords and decorative objects, don’t you see! He has not used–not even once–any of the cat pads or beds I bought.

And here’s the saddest part of my love story. My lap cat won’t sit on my lap. Yet. But I have faith that he will. In time. Hopefully before I die. Oddly, I still adore him. But one of these days I will stop staring into his baby-blues and get back to writing poems!


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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