Felicia Olin- D'ville the Tuxedo Cat
He is a Tuxedo Cat.
He's puttin' on his top hat, tyin' up his white tie, brushin' out his tail
to celebrate today.

We know he was born on this day because
three years ago today Shelbyville's
Animal Control Officer found a black and white queen
and four matching kittens, all still wet.

He was the last one to be claimed, the runt
who at eight weeks weighed just
eleven ounces. He fit in a one-cup Pyrex measure and
the veterinarian Dr. Atkins said she didn't want to see that cat
until he weighed two pounds.

He wasn't thriving, though, and at the clinic anyway
the veterinarian Dr. Wolf pronounced
“this kitten's gonna die,” but
rehydrated him with subcutaneous injections –
he was a tuxedo blowfish for a while.

For needed extra protein he ate scrambled eggs.
I can't clink a fork and egg in that same Pyrex one-cup measure
but he thinks it's scrambled eggs for him – and usually gets his cut.

He has two waking modes; they're Empty Thought Balloon and How Can I Get That?
He steals tiny shiny rolly things, and hides them under furniture where
I won't find them 'til I clean;
they might as well be gone forever.

He scratches everything, shreds papers and dismantles cardboard boxes.

But he endears himself by placing gentle white-gloved paws
upon my thigh when I am seated.
He stretches one long forelimb upward,
imploring with his grape-green eyes to be
lifted by the armpits, limp and boneless,
draped over my shoulder
(I could wear him as a stole),
where he settles in and purrs into my ear
and, brimming with love, I don't notice that he's using the advantage of this greater height
to scope out other tiny shiny rolly things
to steal.

Thea Chesley