Modacius I – I Am A Cat – IAAC

Wagahai Wa Neko de Aru* 072614

What’s the idea?
You don’t think the rooms in our house are big enough
with the windows open and shut,
depending upon the season?

I don’t need to go outside to see more.
C. was born outside, a child (kitten) of the wild.
What makes you think we’re the same?
You put me high in that tree this morning.

I thought I’d die, then that sharp tug on the leash and
tumbling off the branch into your arms.
No fun. Why do I have to measure up to C.?
Some of us are meant to be protected, with

subliminal contact with the world.
The view is fine through the windows –
open for three seasons, shut for the winter.
I can learn fine from a distance.

And I surely learned about you this morning,
so insistant in your way – pulling roughly
to keep me from climbing that branch
twenty-five feet to the top.

True, even with the collar and leash,
it would have been a problem
getting me down from up there, but
why, I ask, did you subject me to the torture

on this 24th day of July, 2014? Nothing better to do?
Why not let me be an insider cat?
Why compare me to my tree climbing species?
Some of us do, some of us don’t.

Why after three years of bliss, eating and cuddling at will,
do you suddenly think it’s time for adventure?
Is it mine or yours? You think you’re the boss?
A nice feeling, isn’t it! I’ve been my own boss

since childhood (kittenhood). Why the sudden change?
Do you enjoy your power? Are you
thinking – Oh this would be a good story to
write about for your Monday Circle Club?

Please spare me. Write about C.’s adventure
this morning. From the window I
saw you carrying out the same test
which she passed far better than I.

I saw her run up the tree limbs and
back down and then laying on the ground
wiggling and stretching in the pine needles
so happy to be in touch with the land.

Well, don’t think I’ll ever be like that.
I’m warning you, if you force this adventure
on me again, our relationship will change.
No more wiggling and stretching in comfort and

confidence in your lap watching videos as an inside cat.
I will become withdrawn and fearful that
at any moment – I’ve noticed just on a nice day –
you will drag me outside with C. to experience the universe.

Some of us have inquiring minds. Some of us don’t!

I’m one of the ones who don’t. I
don’t want to see the universe,
to venture outside my three-story high rise,
to interact with others of my species,

to say nothing of those who don’t even look like me.
I’m my own person. Nothing can change me and
certainly, not you, who has suddenly become
my challenger – my Ms.-Know-It-All, who

thinks she knows what’s best for me.
I like to eat, to chase flies and, in the winter,
a mouse or two between our three floors. I
sleep. I play superior to the dogs, I sleep again,

and that’s it. Who are you to prescribe my
chasing outside mice, stalking birds, even
hobnobbing with male cats I’ve never met before.
I’m happy being inside with you. And I know you love

me as I am. So why push for more?
It’s that C., that beautiful C. Skinny,
athletic, sexy with a stranger I saw on
her first day free outside. Outlandish!

So now you have C. stuck inside that outside cage,
teasing her after her first short stretching of freedom
in three years. So I know you know the
danger of our freedom, scraping our dead bodies

off Camden streets where cars careen
and the two-legged drunks throw
bottles for fun and their
children try to catch us for play.

But this combination of trying to make me an inside
AND outside cat will not do. It might work for C. but
not for me. Do not try to apply your
human psychology to the cat species.

You see how your human grandchildren respond
to directives. They’re ecstatic at learning
new things. You feel good at introducing them and
controlling the human kiddies with grown-up rules.

That might work with C. but not with me.
I have my own rules that do not
include what normal members of
my species do – like climbing trees and

eating birds. That alone should convince you
to lay off me! You love birds. Now
you want to train me to go outside
in the world and not stalk and kill them? Crazy!
* influenced by Natsume Soseki: “I Am A Cat.”

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