"dad, please" i'd say, again and again
eventually, after i wrote an essay, he relented
and we went out to tabby town to pick one out
we came home with io,
a scared black-and-white kitten
who crawled all over me and flexed her claws
up and down my arms.
i remember breaking down, some day after school
in my room, surrounded by math homework i didn't understand
and io, that stupid little kitten who did nothing but yell at people passing by
jumped on my bed and started to play with my pencil.
it was a came of cat-and-mouse, io the cat
and my eraser the mouse.
i didn't finish my homework that day.
io wouldn't leave me alone.
i remember her kneading my arm
licking my face, scratching at my homework
defending me from sine, cos, and tan
that little kitten who loved to yell.