Cali & Co.

By Carlos Cardona


The first time I saw you, you were laying there,
Laying in someone else's grasp, looking up at me like,
"You're cute, but can't you see I'm busy?"

The guy was wearing a grey suit, one of those business types I guess,
I was in stone-washed black jeans and a loud tie,
Working in the corporate mines: MTV Finance!
(How square can you get? No loud music, no babes in T-shirts,
No rock stars around! A nightmare!)

It was a classic lunchtime pickup:
I walked in and there you were, with your paws around some
Other cat. I looked at you and it was love at first sight!
I couldn't get over how cute you were,
And I decided right then and there to make you my own.

I paid your pimp at the desk the $25 to take you home,
He said you were clean and had all your shots,
And that he'd even throw in permanent birth control
If I brought you in within one month. Such a deal!

When I brought you in you looked around like the homeless,
You were so skinny, so underfed, so nervous,
What were you doing with your food money, buying catnip?
Drug dealing in an alley, just to stay alive?

I had thought about calling you Chessie after Wonderland,
Or Pyewacket from "Bell, Book and Candle,"
In the end I called you Cali because of your three-color coat,
Pretty creative no?

It was love at first bite, at first scratch, at first lick, at first hug,
And has been one of the best relationships I've ever had,
Human or non, family or lover or friend,
And for this I thank my lucky stars that I picked someone as lovable,
As friendly, and as talented as you to share my life with,
Thank you for being who you are, my roommate, my best friend,
My cat.