Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

A neighbor’s cat ambled by, wetting our sand

casually, as natural as lions

in the Kalahari marking their range. That cat

killed a squirrel, sniffing to be sure it died.

We saw her crouched by our porch

in a heap of leaves, not really eating.

Later, I hauled it off, the dumpster loaded

with leaves, dust in the air, spring cleaning,

sneezing when we walked to the park and back,

cats and squirrels everywhere, the leash law

only for dogs. At noon, the drowsy cat

sauntered across the road toward home, yawned,

and leaped to the porch like a baobab tree’s

wide bough, lolled like a lion, eyes closed

with one paw dropped, tail flopping,

scheming another hunt, of a wide-eyed

panting impala as jaws snatched the throat

for a better hold and squeezed.