Paul Gadzikowski

The Return of Archy the Cockroach

Cats Come and Go

boss i must agree with 
the household consensus 
your family dog is one 
of the most brainless 
people i have met outside 
of the human race maggie 
is one of those dogs who 
so throw themselves into 
their adopted role as 
man s best friend that 
they even forget the 
animals s lingua franca 
of course they can t 
speak human either 
this i suppose is what 
the phrase quote dumb 
animal unquote really 

when i met your family 
cat crackers i expected 
him to claim to be a 
reincarnated human like 
me i expected this because 
mehitabel claimed to be 
cleopatra after she saw all 
the attention i got but i 
forgot that mehitabel had 
never been fixed crackers 
is as content as a cat can 
be who is always convinced 
that something more exciting 
must be happening on the 
other side of the front 
door though he has a 
disconcerting fixation 
with getting his paws on 
me it would not be safe for 
me to cross the kitchen 
floor if he wasn t scared of 
maggie for some reason 
which escapes me

i asked him about this 
crackers says i why are 
you obsessed with 
catching me

because you move around 
says crackers peering at 
me from atop the stove

are you out to eat me 
says i remembering several 
occasions when mehitabel 
drove me to cower 
among the typewriter 

i might eat you if i 
was hungry says crackers 
but you fascinate me just 
because i want to see if 
you d stop moving if i 
caught you if you didn t 
stop moving i would 
experiment until i found 
out what would stop you 
of course then i d be sad 
that you d stopped moving 
because you d be no fun to 
play with any more but 
i would still experiment 
with the next cockroach 
i caught because i have 
a deep seated need 
to know my actions can 
affect my environment

it s a cat thing says 

boss they say curiosity 
killed the cat but from my 
point of view the cat 
himself doesn t seem the 
most likely victim


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