“Good boys” by Hugh Findlay

Yellow-orange cat curled up under a leafy shrub, with its back to some wooden furniture.
Photo courtesy of Hugh Findlay

Yellow-eyed cat
reaches up
and punches a paw
against my bare leg,
draws out his
crescent of claws
and hooks them
slightly into the fat
of my calf.

Staring, he says
“Lowly human,
I hereby bestow
great favor upon you
and I demand,
forthwith and without delay,
that you do my
needful scratching…
or else.”

So being familiar,
I reach down
and scratch under
his upturned chin,
causing the shallow
stick of his grip
to instinctively deepen.

I cannot help
but flinch,
then turn my hand
slowly, deliberately,
to curl my palm
round his softly
purring throat.

I smile and say
“Exalted sir,
I am so deeply honored
to act at your behest
for you are
without a doubt
such a good boy —
yes oh yes indeed
we are both,
you and I,
such good
good boys…
are we not?


Hugh Findlay sticking out his tongue  at the beach. He wears sunglasses.

Hugh Findlay’s writing and photography have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, in print and online. He is in the third trimester of life.