Photography © Chad Parenteau


Ode to an alley cat

Out of my window,
the porch light turns,
and so initiates
me, to shift my weight

towards the glass,
which I so often do,
if only to hoover my toes
above the radiator.

At the ungodly hour
of 3am, who else
disobeys the clock
as I do?

And worse,
exposes their cheek
to the blistering chill
of old-winter’s kiss?

I press my forehead
to the cold glass
to spy outside, until
lifted from the edge of my cushion,

when I catch sight of
her. A cat,
golden, gingerly
passing through the alley.

How I’ve wanted
a cat.
To sooth me
with her quiet vibrations.

Ella would be her name,
if she was in fact
a she.
And next to me now,

we would relish
the stillness
of this nocturnal night.

Cat, whose
visitation graces me,
won’t you tread my steps,
and curl your body next to mine?

Her coat, an eternal
Autumn, transports me
from this dreaded
wasteland of gray,

to a sea of crisp
auburn leaves,
and swirls
of pumpkin syrup.

Come rest your
delicate nap
on my thigh,
and relax your tall ears.

Do not scavenge
for your meal any longer,
allow me to feed you
and caress your soft fur.

Cat, gentle creature,
visit me tomorrow,
and I will treat you,
as beauty should be treated.


Zachary Gaudet is a young architect with a newfound passion for poetry. It came after he took a poetry workshop with Professor Gloria Monoghan at Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he studies architecture. As someone who has come to develop a sensitivity to place and appreciation for the environment, poetry became a helpful medium for him to express himself. Zachary enjoys writing in free form in topics ranging from nature, romantic love, animals, and architectural space.

Chad Parenteau is Associate Editor of Oddball Magazine.