Cat shelter quiet on Christmas Day,
no one browsing to adopt.
A box of toys mailed from Carmel.
In Timmy’s Room the big guys
nose about. Bob the tough one,
cabbage-headed veteran. Midnight,
long-haired gloss. Mr. Peepers
with gray saddleback and crown.
But it’s Dewey who thrusts himself
headlong into the box to root
through the catnip confections,
his rump soaring, his tail aflame.
No need to rescue him. The box
topples off the sofa and spills.
The guys each grab a toy. Other cats
tumble into the rumpus and bat
cloth mice, plastic balls with bells,
and catnip-filled vegetable shapes.
Bare trees shrug at the window.
A bright day, the snow cover stretched
over brassy weeds beyond
the rutted parking lot. The cats
prattle around the room, grinning.
A canned food treat slopped on large
plastic trays confirms the day
as special enough to remember
if cats remember as people do—
a slur of overlapping snapshots
sparking in the grain of neurons,
fading into black and white.