I’m a city cat.
I’ve lived these 1.5 years on “the mean streets,” where you don’t get by without rubbing shoulders (or paws, hehehe) with your fair share of bad actors. Golden Gate Park has coyotes, which they tell me are big dogs. I know not to look a coyote in the eye, but if I see a squirrel, I’m fighting. Sometimes this idiot tabby on the leeward edge of the street luxuriates in the sun like she’s the god damn queen of Sixth Avenue, and to her I say, truly: MEWO MEOW MEOWOOOWOOW MEOW!
I am a tornado of claws and my name is Tilly! I’m the proprietor of this block. The wind blows the fog through the screen door. The food smells come from the inside. A pillow is my home. I drink from the toilet.
All without my good eye, whom I miss. It was a part of me but now it is not. That happens with eyes, toys, food I put into my belly. This life is a conveyor belt and I am its master!
I go from the inside to the outside. The plants are cool and green on my skin. When I lay still amongst the succulents, they can’t see me. I am Tilly, jungle cat. The world moves, the dog lays down, but I am here, still as the night, grey as the fog. If you can find me, well, good for you. You only have two paws, and I am a lioness. Please don’t pick me up.
They’ll ask me, “Tilly, how’d you lose your ojo? Such a business cat has good use for two.” The other cats call me pirate. I don’t know what that is (I don’t watch television). When I was a smaller cat, when the world was dumb and I could rest between the cushions, I had two. One day, I woke up and only had a single window on the world. Okay.
You can see the same things, you know, with one blue eye as you can with two. They say I am little for a cat (I have my doubts about this assertion), but let not my size fool you. When the chips are down (food metaphor ლ(=ↀωↀ=)ლ), you want Tilly by your side. Just don’t touch my belly. Not for you.
Tilly is a writer who lives in San Francisco.