Cat forgets roots, turns to literature



Photo By Josh Fernandez

We let him inside. Tiny dampened meows, muffled further by the treacherous storm—how could we not? A collarless gray kitten, sopping wet, looking like a dripping little raisin that deserves a home.

Crystal and I dried him off, fed him some milk and went to Target for kibble. We left him alone inside to explore the apartment. We came back, fed him, picked him up, cuddled and poked at him for a while. Crystal named him Loki, after the Norse god of mischief; a gray kitten with electric green eyes suggests a certain amount of chaos.

“Loki will give our houseguests something to pet when they come,” I thought, hoping our landlord wouldn’t mind breaking the “no pets” rule.

Two years later, Loki is fat. And he’s obviously forgotten his humble roots as a homeless freeloader. He’s taken over the apartment. If I sleep in, he bites whichever toe is sticking out from underneath the covers to wake me up. If he’s bored, he walks up to my face and lets out a guttural meow that sounds more like a pig in the midst of slaughter than a courteous feline. And curiously, he’s taken to eating all my literature.

Well, not all my literature. He’s actually quite picky. For instance, he’s left Joshua Clover’s The Totality for Kids alone, but has found Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art quite delicious. He hasn’t touched Charles Simic: Selected Early Poems but has nearly devoured the Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century anthology. And most of my poetry journals have passed through Loki’s belly.

In his years, the feline has developed a taste for contemporary literature. His portions of wet and dry food are simply not enough. Fake mice full of catnip are beneath the little hellion, but he still looks precious running after a piece of string or hiding under a coffee table. Ah, cat!