My theory is that Alexander’s
self‑esteem requires that he roam.
Something I can well comprehend.
At home he is docile, except
for his persistent demand for love.
His brother has always been the
alpha cat, the hunter.

Al wandered and when he came home
a week later he had learned
to be annoyingly vociferous.
Aggressively arranging
your hand on his head to pet him.
I worried that he had been abused somewhere,
locked up against his will,
as he was caged in his youth
with a broken leg.
He lagged behind after that,
uncertain of his place in the scheme
of things, lacking confidence.

Down the road in the neighbor’s yard,
he is a hunter extraordinaire,
fearless and vocal, a different cat
I have stopped begrudging him
his need for that.


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