Where would Abigail?

Where would Abigail have her kittens? I watched maternal pawings of dim corners and gentle, curl-tipped tail waves: decided dismissals. Would she take: the oak-lined log box?

my jumbled, soft-worn laundry?

the closet, overhung

by crisp, starched-shirt stalactites?

Or (I prayed not this)

the study loft, twelve feet

straight up a ladder? These

and more, merited sniffing,

querulous inquiry. Where, then? I found three new, damp kittens, late one day, curled in a heap of T-shirt rags between a vacuum cleaner and a broom. Too soft? Too warm? Too sheltered? All I knew came to me at midnight: Close-eyed, gray, three nape-hung furballs (pink mouths gaping, gummed, emitting rat-like skreeks) were bundled, dropped underneath my bed by Abigail. Purring she came, and purring set up house on knotted, bleached pine planks below my head, and purring fed her family. Through the dark, billowed by generous, purring swells, I slept, safe as a kitten watched by Abigail.

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