Gentle waif, stalker of the urban jungle—
born of feral mother and domestic tom,
mottled—black on white, waiving a bushy tail,
foraging the Northbrae neighborhoods.
One day you happened upon our free meal, fresh water,
friendly attention and warm fuzzy pats.
Nesting in our backyard, you staked your claim,
a patch of ground you called home.
We bided our time; were you homeless or lost?
Days became weeks till we knew you chose us.
The time had come to rescue you from prowlers—
night critters—skunk, raccoon or possum.
Putting up with the vet’s exam, shots, surgery,
you passed your physical, and settled in
a healthy male not yet fully grown.
The mystery will always be your gentleness.
Where did you learn to respond to pats—
with retracted claws, gentle nips—tummy up.
Adventure is your forte—and despite our vigil,
you scaled our mantle, eluded our lunge—
plunged out the open window—ten feet to hardpack.
Stunned and shocked, you willingly came back in.
Now you are content to look from inside out,
observing butterflies, birds, or outside cats.
For play, you chase scrunched up paper balls,
bat at a stained-glass ornament because it moves,
criticize the waxed flower arrangement atop our piano,
climb our window curtain or wrestle with a rug.
A paper bag makes a great cave to peer our of—
a paper ball replaces an errant house mouse.
During siesta time, you retreat to your lookout
atop the stacked corner cabinet, and sunbathe
in the privacy of your solar-roofed window room.
We marvel at your clever antics, precocious nature.
We are rich beyond measure for the day you happened by,
and chose our sanctuary as your safe haven.