Sipping tea at a wayside stall,
I watch a cat sauntering by.
She regards me; I smile at her-
She pauses - lifts a paw -
She moves –
How graceful, how lithe, how feminine!
On her croups, she looks at me, blinks –
Twitches her ears – this way, that way.
She glances up at a crow, intent.
A man walks up –
The cat appraises.
At peace, she examines her left forepaw
A fallen leaf stirs in the wind –
Cat looks at it, ears pointed.
A mongrel runs by – the Cat’s tail
Stiffens and then d-e-l-i-b-e-r-a-t-e-l-y
Twirls and flicks (it scares me).
She follows him, rapt eye-ed
As he goes out of sight.
The cat gazes at me.
She stares at me, unblinking -
Uncomfortable, I look elsewhere.
How she demands attention,
How swiftly does she ignore!
Kneeling, with love
I offer her a piece of cake, a bit sodden -
I never thought
A cat could express such disdain!
Oh well, you never liked cats, I thought,
Don’t try so hard to, now.
Sheepish, I realize
That the grudging admiration
I have for cats
For their attitude
For their sly, self-assured ways
Their aloofness, pooh-poohing
The rest of the world –
Is the same that I have
For certain women I know!
********* Balachandran V,