I.
I find him
curled upon the sill
smelling of sunshine filtered
through a window screen
as only cats can.
I nuzzle his fur
and breathe in deep.

II.
The world is his playground.
The bath tub
is an echo chamber
for his chirping toy mouse,
the shipping box a fort,
the reusable grocery bag
a runaway train car-
and now he's off
with the cap
to my water bottle.

III.
His tail bristles
as he spies
my stuffed calico.
He sniffs, cocks his head,
then swats her shoulder
as if to laugh and say
he'd known all along
she wasn't real.

IV.
At last, I have solved
the Sock Monster case.
I found him in the open dryer
while folding laundry.
Never mind he already wears
a tuxedo.

V.
I love his many smiles:
that winded meow
as he bounces down the stairs
to welcome me home;
the way he weaves
between my shins
as if trying to be
a guide dog, his tail
arched in a J;
the way he butts his head
into my hand, his lips
parted in a gummy kiss.
Especially sacred
are the wee hours
when he purrs his nose runny
and rests a paw on my cheek, needing
to be as close as possible
and needing, like me, to be
needed.