A long time ago when I lived in Santa Cruz, I had an all-black cat we named Oedipuss. I know, corny . . .


He loved being outside at night, prowling the neighborhood. In the morning, he’d hang upside down off the top of our bedroom window’s protruding casing, and reach down to scratch on the window glass to get in.

As soon as I opened the window, he’d jump down, situate himself on the floor, look up at me, and reach over and swat my leg, as if I was a mere peon doing his bidding. Then he’d regally toss his head and stalk on out to the kitchen. Where, of course, he’d loudly proclaim my unworthiness until his dish was full.

I liked to sit at the kitchen table reading, with one leg crossed over the other. Oedipuss would march into the middle of the room, where he’d stand and gaze at my BF and me, choosing which one of us to abuse next. He’d inevitably choose me, strutting his handsome perfect self over, where he’d look me in the eye, and very deliberately smack my foot with his paw.

With a little huff and a head shake, he’d either walk off, or jump into my lap. He’d deign to have my nasty oily human hand petting his silky night-black fur for only so long before he’d jump off, licking and cleaning himself right next to me. As if to say, “Look what you did, Hooman, now I have to clean you off of me! Huh!”

Our neighbor down the street, an old man who we used to swap garden stories with – particularly about smokable plants – started putting food out for Oedipus, and eventually he stopped coming home.


text and image © Angela Treat Lyon 2022

My Inside Secrets books: atlyon.gumroad.com

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