This poem is a portrait of my cat, Raquel. She is a serious, dignified soul, and keeps to herself – especially as she has gotten older. But there’s one time in the day when I can always count on seeing her. When I sit down to my desk, it won’t be long until she has joined me. Sometimes it’s a short visit, and sometimes longer, but she makes sure I don’t have to work alone.

Office Workers

The cat
enters the room
settles herself
on the manila folder
I filed on the floor
beside my desk chair
beneath my elbow and to the right.
Paws folded
attentive, dignified, and serious
ready to spend
however much time my work takes
Thinking her own thoughts, yes,
but attuned to mine
so that somehow she knows
just when I’m beginning to finish
Or maybe
she’s telling me.
She stands up
slips from the room
the vigil over
I pick up the folder
set it on the desk
and follow
There is a pile of papers
filed on the floor
beside my desk chair
ready for tomorrow.


2 thoughts on “Always

  1. An animal is the perfect accompaniment to the writer – I have a dog. It’s the silent company I love – the feeling that someone is there, without the fear of being interrupted in my thoughts. Spending hours on end, trying to get my work just right can sometimes be a very lonely, (and frustrating!) job. Sam takes the edge of that in a big way! I particularly loved the line ‘the vigil over’ as if your cat has a sense of how important what you are doing is – and needs watching over. Lovely!

  2. Thank you. I spend a lot of time alone, as you said, and our three cats, in their different ways, make a big difference in the feel of the house – as you said, I am not lonely, but not interrupted. Raquel especially is this way – she has always paid attention to what I am doing and though it seems strange, I have always felt she was interested and encouraging. Or maybe that she’s willing to put the time in with me. I don’t know. But it’s good, no matter why, and I appreciate her presence.

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