Johnny Reb, The Cat

I don’t know where he came from. He appeared one day.

His royal lineage quite apparent, a Russian Blue, they say.

He’s Johnny Reb, the fighter. He wears the coat of grey.

He looks at me through green slit eyes, blinks, then turns away,

Looking back occasionally, as if to ask or say,

Are you still there? I’m still here. Is everything okay?”

When he’s feeling playful, he’ll hide beneath a chair, Attack his catnip ball, or mouse, or stretch out on the stair. Whoever travels up or down, best watch out. Beware!

I understand his maleness, and when he’s gone for days, I don’t panic at his absence.

He’s going through a phase. He wouldn’t listen if I told him, ” Philandering never pays!”

He doesn’t tell me where he’s going, nor, where he has been.

He’ll come home when he’s ready, and for certain, not ’till then. Where he knows, I’ll be waiting by the door to let him in.

Now, if a strange cat comes around, to inspect the place,

It will leave, defeated, battered, humbled, in disgrace.

One thing he won’t tolerate – invasion of his space.

When he wants me – to hold him, on my lap, he’ll lie,

Acquiescent, purring, a soft, contented sigh.

I would say we have an understanding, Johnny Reb, and I.

Norma Kesler Lawrence

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