Oyster Boy Review 12  
  January 2000
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» Levee 67


Cat Women

Lyn Lifshin

Most of us don't have children,
are apt to wrap closer in what
is soft as baby skin: velvet, moiré,
or the softest pale loose jeans.
But it's the cats that get us thru,
that we clutch, let curl between
our legs.  We can make up what
they're thinking, interpret their
dreams.  Sometimes I go back-
ward in terms of cats, back to the
one that came on my 6th birthday,
scrawny and small but already with
more cats inside her, fur pearls.  In
one week six women have written
their cat news.  They know none of
us won't understand.  Several dream
of our cats more than we dream of
our dead fathers.  I never thought
my cat would outlive my uncle,
my mother.  Most of us resemble
cats, not always our own: doe eyes,
long legs, a soft collapsible body.
Someone would suppose it's the
need to mother but I know it is
nothing like that.  We're mystical
about cats, because some nights
we become one, slither away from
a lover's side, wild to explore what
we sense in darkness, starved for
the prowl, the chase, the leap
from a life so domestic some of
us need to regrow claws, survive
on prey, give up safeness