My Roommate’s Cat

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My roommate’s cat is a lumpy pillow.

He is a sack of mushrooms, fur

like cotton balls

soaked in old chicken broth. My stalker,

he follows me to the bathroom. A shadow

behind the blue plastic curtains, a brush

against my leg in the darkened hallway,

a murmur from under the kitchen table.

He squeezes himself into the refrigerator shelves,

spilling tomato sauce like blood

on the linoleum, then lurks behind me

as I clean. I hate his whiny meows,

his de-clawed, velvety front paws,

his yellow glass eyes. I hate him.

But when I lay back on my bed, bare feet

dangling from the edge and see him perched

quietly on my windowsill, tail

swinging lazily back and forth, sun glinting

off his charcoal fur, I realize there’s one thing

we have in common—we both enjoy our solitude

in company.

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