This Muff of Fur

THE Devil’s soul
Is not more black
Than Smudge my cat
Who has more yen
For mice than men.
Narrowed to slits,
His topaz eyes
Fixed on a hole
As there he sits
Wiih fierce control
For hours
And glowers
Claws curved, intent,
On murder bent.

The glossy brute
Fears not one hoot
My lame pursuit,
And every night
Sneaks out to fight,
Seduce, and prowl;
Long after three,
I hear him yowl
To waken me;
Dizzy with sin,
He staggers in.

Damn his black skin.
No angel’s smile
Has half the wile
Of his smug purr
In a feigned nap —
This muff of fur
Curled on my lap.
In my cast le
He is the king
And I his vassal.
Bound to appease,
Beseeching paws
With indrawn claws
Pad my old knees;
He knows how weak
I am — the sneak,
Softer than silk
Close by my side,
Milder than milk.
Bless his black hide.