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  • The striped black cat is out again,
    question mark tail and curious nose prevail,
    feet and knees like velvet socks.

    Arching and 'owing,
    bending around chair pegs and people legs,
    wiping her face on my pages.

    The sign says no dogs
    and she knows about it, positively crows about it,
    on account of her being a cat.

    Hunchy and balanced,
    she laps from the pool, sneezes chlorinated drool,
    and laughs at my quizzical gaze.

    Oooh, that can't be healthy,
    I think idly, quite mildly,
    wondering if she can swim.

    With no invitation, she leaps
    on the table but still I'm unable
    to dissuade her with Go! or Git!

    Now she starts swiping
    and kneading, like dough, succeeding
    in snagging a thread on my shirt.

    She ignores my dismay
    and my venomous scorn, as she's torn
    a bloody furrow in my arm.

    You'd think this was Elm Street,
    to look at her paws, those daggery claws
    would make even Freddy Krueger pause.

    It's thwarting my reading,
    and probably breeding
    when it isn't pestering and pleading,
    I'm already bleeding,
    and actually conceding... calling her Fred.
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