Choose Your Fighter

s get nine lives, I’d be happy to spend them all with you. Well, not just happy but frustrated and annoyed and laughing because you are a bastard sometimes. But when I saw your little black form huddled in the box of kittens, I knew you were the perfect familiar for me. It was October and the weather was starting to get witchy. 


Ever since we moved apartments, you have taken a liking to chewing on cardboard. When we packed up our old home, you sat on the tallest tower and chewed at the corners of the box. 

I think you got a craving for it now because before my books were placed on the shelf, you would chew on their corners as well. Luckily for both of us, you stopped doing that. Otherwise I would still be yelling at you, and you would still be scurrying from the room.

It’s okay– I still love you, despite my better judgment. And I’m sorry for yelling at you. Those books are just really important to me, okay? Plus did you really enjoy the taste of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass?


We often eat breakfast together. This morning you’re chomping on your kibble, and I’m sitting at the kitchen table eating some runny oatmeal with a shot of Jameson. It’s Saturday; I don’t plan on leaving the apartment. 

Since it’s just the beginning of September, we should enjoy the last few days to have all the windows open and the doors open– screen doors shut, of course, so you don’t go running off and leaving me. You can sit there watching from the screen door the sparrows dip and chirp across the grassy field behind our apartment. I’ll slowly flip through what’s streaming  and occasionally look over and watch you watch the birds.


Remember when that big box came with all the tissue paper? You had a lot of fun with the tissue paper; I had a lot of fun watching you play. Especially when you had the tissue paper on your head and you ran into the table leg. That was really funny– I still think about the thunk and then the shake of your head to get the paper off.


Everytime I take a bath, you come in and either place yourself on the toilet next to me or you lift yourself over the edge and peer into the water. How poetic, I think, what do you see in the water?


CHOOSE YOUR FIGHTER! I swear, that’s your mentality when the clock strikes midnight. You have a couple options.

You can become the water warrior– a fighter whose sole purpose is to knock over EVERY cup of water that comes into his line of sight. 

Or perhaps you want to become the scratcher– everything is a scratching post. You scratch at the bookshelves, and the whiteboard I need to hang up, and the windows. I think the scratcher is obsessed with attacking his own image, as well. Because sometimes in the late hours, I see you sitting on the bathroom counter pawing at your image in the mirror.

But the fighter you usually choose is FULL FERAL. Full feral is when you zip around the apartment, batting all the toys, chasing around the dog. You run around so fast that you often bump into things because you’re going too fast to stop. Full feral gets a chorus of “he’s freaking” or “oh, he zooming.” Sometimes when I get up to get a cup of water in the middle of the night, I’ll catch you scampering after little stuffed mice and little stuffed birds.


I have so many different names for you. I call you “Mr. Tubbs,” or “grubby kitty,” or “Kenjiman,” or “Sweet Prince of Darkness,” or “Mr. Mistoffelees,” or even “brimstone beast.” Which one do you prefer the best?


Your hunger has never been satiated. When I wake up, I hear your mews. You’ve trained me well, so I immediately go into the kitchen to get you your food. Despite this, you still jump on the table when I’m enjoying my meals. You try to open the pantry and get into the chips. You gluttonous beast! You want for nothing, and yet you always ask for more.


If I get nine lives, I hope we can spend them together. I’m sure you’d be happy- not just happy but frustrated and annoyed and mewing because I’m a bastard sometimes. It’s witchy right now– let’s spend some time together.

C.G. Nelson has been an avid reader of poetry since she was thirteen years old. Her first loves were Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe. C.G. Nelson is a new poet. She went to the University of Washington, where she graduated with a degree in English and Philosophy. Find her on Twitter @CGNelsonwrites.

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