Mornings are damp
with hot cat breath
and sheds of fur
twinkling through the air
before being sucked up
by the rounded purifier
stationed quietly in our nook.
The hum of the machine harmonizes
with the purrs of the stinky beast
who looks to me not as caretaker
but rather food dispenser,
giver of scritches, flinger of hair ties
previously lost between bedsheets
and holder of warm lap.
There will be no thanks,
nor praise for a job well done,
but the connection remains
simple and symbiotic,
payments given by head nuzzles.
And despite what the paperwork says
we all know who owns who.