Janet McCraw

A Good Cat

First Place

A good cat enjoys alone time

but gives a random slow blink

and sits in companionable silence.

His bucket list starts, and ends, with:

On a full stomach, find a sunny spot

on a soft carpet.

A good cat is one

whose purr is so loud

the vet can hardly hear his heartbeat.

One who will pass a feather to you under

your door and expect a return.

In my house the cat lived outside, once.

New England in December.

Fisher cats, coyote, Jack Russells:

every reason to fear.

Of course I offered food.

But that’s not the point.

He didn’t have to give me that blink.

Or stay.

I’m thinking in ten years

I may not be here. At best, will be

too brittle to return his tendered feather.

My bucket list now starts, and ends, with:

make young, kind friends

with similar hearts

and open doors.

Janet McCraw is a Rhode Island artist who studied at Ricker College in Houlton, Maine. She most often works in acrylics and collage but writing and animals have been lifelong companions. Her household currently includes two (formerly) feral cats who invited themselves in during the pandemic. “And that,” as Mr. Frost wrote, “has made all the difference.”