An abecedarius inspired by my sister’s cat

Anxiety makes her shy away from even the gentlest of hands

But she desperately tries to escape her confinement

Chirping her strange version of a meow, she advances then retreats

“Don’t touch me, but I’m lonely,” she seems to say

Exasperating cat! What am I to do with you?

Fat wobbles from side to side as she dodges me

Giving in, at last, she lopes back into the cage

Hatred and fear shine in the eyes visible through the metal grate

I’m suddenly overwhelmed with sympathy

Just last week, I thought she’d join our family

Kicking through the bushes, I found her

Leaves and webs peppered her dark fur

Mud coated her little, white paws

No blood drew the eye to cuts or scrapes

Other than her skittishness, she seemed perfectly normal

Perhaps that’ll go away in time, I thought as I ushered her through the door

Quality food and pampering can fix any animal

Remember when I said ‘last week?’

She is this way still, maybe more so

Treating her kindly or with frustration changes nothing

Unfortunately, I’m nearing my wits end with this cat

Venting about it to my husband doesn’t help

“We should just turn her in to the animal shelter,” he said

“X-rays and medical treatment is what she really needs.”

“You’re probably right,” I murmur, glancing at the cat

Zestfulness or the lack of aren’t the best reasons to get rid of an animal

And yet, how can I love something that doesn’t exactly want to be loved?

Because someone who fights love is someone who needs it the most, I realize

Come what may, I will love this cat

Dedication might just be what changes her in the end.