I Didn’t Even Like You

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You, with your false-advertising
big, soft eyes
like the cat on that ogre movie
who blinks slowly
attacks quickly
and a person never knows
what they’re dealing with.
You, who bullied the
other cats and even
the dogs
and guarded food bowls
like they were your own
personal
dragon’s gold.
Who thought the entire house was
your
territory
and marked it so,
till I threatened you with
pounds and other homes and
dark ends – and you
retaliated with fragrant
offerings under my bed.
And just when patience slid
howling to the depths,
purring, rubbing, fuzzy
grey innocence
pooled
itself in my lap,
or stood on my chest
trying to kiss me awake,
instinctively manipulating this
tangled ball of love-hate.
And I would have gladly
given you to a good home

until the vet said the words.

Even then, I couldn’t
abandon you,
even knowing all the
crap you pulled.
And in the end,
you still won, because
your last memories were

my hands
in your fluffy, falling-out, charcoal fur
salt water dripping on your face
and a mountain of tissues on the medical table.

I didn’t even like you.

-KJ Roe

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