Your life is pathetic and I made it that way

You should be slaughtering birds, piercing through their feather flesh with your pin-like claws
You should eat their head but leave their bodies. You have the power to be wasteful. You’ll hunt other birds
You should be curling up in a nook bedded with dry leaves—the driest of leaves because you like to hear them crunch
You should be sleeping in grasses while birds and bunnies zip by quickly, afraid you’ll wake up and assert your dominance
You should be bounding for no reason, trotting through your kingdom because you are free
You should be feasting on the bloody, gamey meat of a chipmunk, licking the fat from your chops with your bristly tongue
Instead, you get a quarter cup of kibble, filled with corn and soy and the faint taste of meat that crunches dryly between your fatal incisors
Instead, I abandon you in the morning and return twelve hours later. You’re happy when I’m home because I feed you, not because you respect me
Instead, you are respected by no creature. The squirrels and birds snicker outside our window as you warn them what’s in store for them if you were ever to get out
Instead, we laugh at your trivial attempts to hunt, how you lash out on a crinkly paper toy because there’s no real game to kill
Instead, you pace the hallway with boredom, dreaming of when you were cold on the street, but at least you had your freedom
Instead, you are imprisoned by someone who doesn’t respect you either. Because if she did you wouldn’t be called “cute.” You’d be a fighter, a boss, and she’d bow at your paws.

Published by Emilee Lindner

I’m a writer, cat fancier and lover of all things autumn.

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