Sidi J. Mahtrow
Cat Who Loved Shoes - Poem by Sidi J. Mahtrow
There in the doorway
A pair of old smelly leather shoes lay.
Not quite in the same place by-the-by
Where they had been left to dry.
One turned on its side by the door,
The other several feet away on the floor.
Away from the place they'd been dropped
When the wearer momentarily stopped.
Now to get them on again;
No problem as the new day begins.
The pair slipped on; without socks,
No bother to unlace loose fitting tops.
Across the yard through dew so fine
The wearer sloughs, straight tracks in a line.
Water wets the shoes' upper leather
Soaking the feet of the wearer.
The morning constitutional's finished.
Dew back-traced steps by the sun diminished.
To the house the old man goes
To dry feet; heel and toes.
Just inside the door and out of the way,
The shoes are put and are suppose to stay.
Water's imprint of feet momentarily remain
On the well worn wooden floor again.
Now the mystery of what happened
To the shoes the previous evening is revealed.
As shoes cannot move on their own
A mysterious force must be shown.
Slick, the name of the family cat
Usually by the cookstove, slept or sat,
But with the stir of man's morning ritual
She stretched herself to full length and all.
Making her inspection as each day before,
To see what lay behind a closed door.
Could one be nudged open just a mite,
Or perhaps another closed tight?
Then she saw 'her' shoes by the door.
Placed there just moments before.
A thorough inspection with eyes and nose
As if enjoying the fragrance of a rose.
Just millimeters away from the surface.
A superficial inspection would not suffice.
She tested the air above the tongue and lace,
Placing nose deep into size 11's cavernous space.
Satisfied these were her shoes left by the door
She now took a more leisurely stance on the floor
Resting upper body cross the nearest shoe.
Absorbing the smells of something new.
Then tentatively, she reached
Her left paw, nails retracted
(She couldn't resist the temptation.)
To the lace on the companion.
Gave the lace a soft tap to see
If perhaps the loose ends were free.
With her outstretched paw
She toyed with what she saw.
To her shoes, Slick never extends her claws
Instead using her prehensile paws.
Quite adept at picking up bugs and such
From the floor, with a soft loving touch.
Not unlike a mother cat toward kittens.
In a loving way she is smitten.
She treats the leather of her shoes
With a gentle grasp, and softly mews.
Like a cat addicted to catnip spice,
She rolled over, not once but twice.
Embracing the shoe as a mother
Marking with chin and lips the other.
One could see.
These shoes were hers!
They belonged no other.
Now herself she indulged
In the caresses they deserved.
Rolling over without a care
On her back, feet in the air.
She flipped, she rolled,
Twisted and turned.
Rubbed head and ears without stop,
Across the worn leather top.
Over she rolled and on her side
Tenderly held one shoe with motherly pride.
Between her front paws for better control
Reexamining the interior, the inner sole.
Now satisfied that all was well,
She lay partially over the shoes as in a spell,
Trying to cover and protect them from whatever
Danger they might face from the shoes' wearer.
She was at peace.
But, when her mistress saw her by the door
There, embracing the shoes, putting them in disorder
Slick, gave not a self-conscious stare in return
As though having not a care or concern.
Looked to the madam and sat erect,
Gave a full yawn, as one might expect.
Stretched and walked away,
There would be another day.
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