Spoiled indoor cats
or cats basking in the weeds
behind Wheeler’s Pharmacy
or reconnoitering neighborhood cats:
these I think I recognize.

But Vinnie, our longtime outdoor cat,
uses our ginkgo for a scratching post
drinks from our gutters
sleeps under the canopy of our black gum
ignores the scurry of squirrels under the birdfeeder.

When we’re on the porch, he settles on the steps
on the other side of the screen.
When we’re away, he positions himself
in the middle of the driveway.
When he’s inside, he pretends he doesn’t
see our indoor cats.
When it’s below zero, he deigns to spend
a three-cat night on our son’s bed,
leaving the next morning
without a word.

From the top of the garage,
he surveys what lies beyond.
He doesn’t leave.