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.