Shoes. Petunia’s latest obsession. Not the entire shoe.  

Just the lining. Whether it’s the paper-thin lining  

of a dress shoe or the thick foam lining of a running  

shoe. Makes no difference to her. She wants it.  

Out. Out of the shoe. Head buried deep in the toe  

of the shoe. Clawing, clawing, clawing until it’s out.  

All of it. Why? To wrestle with it in a bear hug, roll  

around with it, chew it beyond recognition, drag it  

from room to room, discard it in the kitchen as  

a mangled mass of yuck. Even so, you have to  

admit cats have a talent for being easily entertained  

by the mundane, the everyday, the present moment,  

the overlooked. Think about it. What could be  

more commonplace or forgettable than the lining  

of a shoe? Something we take for granted until it’s  

a mangled mass of yuck in the middle of the floor.  

People, people, people! What’s wrong with us? Why  

are we so hard to please? Why does our entertainment  

need to be faster, better, flashier, more bells, more  

whistles, lots of them, all the time? More, more, more.  

People exhaust me. I want to be like a cat. Entertained  

by the everyday, the simple, the easily overlooked,  

the present moment. In the meantime, I think the  

mangled mass of yuck I just scooped off the kitchen  

floor was the lining of my husband’s running shoe.  

Too bad he didn’t hide his shoes when I told him to.  

On the plus side, maybe now he won’t ignore my  

warnings. Maybe now he’ll listen to me. Believe  

me. Take me seriously. Pay more attention to me.  

Maybe. At least now he knows I was right. Now  

I’ve got proof. Thanks, Petunia. Good kitty! 

Laura Stamps is a narrative poet and the author of several books: THE YEAR OF THE CAT, IN THE GARDEN, CAT DAZE, TUNING OUT, and more. Winner of the Muses Prize. Recipient of 7 Pushcart Prize nominations. Shortlisted in the Loft Books Poetry Competition. Twitter: @LauraStamps16.    

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