Local Observation / CAT ISLAND

By Christina Oxenberg

I love the reverb when the train goes by. To feel its rumble, I love to hear the siren. I love the sensual immersive experience. I always close my eyes and stretch. But that’s my job, to live in the senses and to teach my owner compassion, generosity and a gentle hand. I reward by purring.

Food-bearer has moved a biped into the home. And we don’t like each other. I’m too old for this I caterwauled in the alleys all night but I knew what I had to do.

Now, from the island, I can see the mainland and I’m certain I made the right decision. I can recognize voices and I can make out words. Has food-bearer filled a fresh dish of cream for me? Keep your cream! I don’t need it. I’m a warrior, Baby.

I jogged around the docks a few nights ago and out of curiosity cantered onto a vessel which immediately loosened from its moorings. I was a prisoner. A stowaway. Except I was nothing but interested and not the least afraid. Soon the boat was idling at an ancient wood pier at the southern end of Cat Island, a small uninhabited barrier reef in a cluster of sandy isles along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Undetected I sped down the gangplank and ashore.

From Cat Island, my new home, I lounge on a low slanted palm tree, the width of its trunk a perfect perch. I nip between my claws and lick. I clean my face, I groom the fur. I’ve even made a friend, a marble Tom. I watch the mainland and I hear food bearer calling for me, ‘Kitty! Where are you Kitty?’

I don’t reply because I have nothing to say. Except that meow rhymes with ciao and I smirk. These other cats, for example food bearer, they are from different strains. I can hear the train from here and I love it