The loud purring Of a sensitive soul Rumbles across my lap A gentleman-mouser Whose claws are rarely Sheathed in my flesh Save for those few Accidental motions. He pauses in his Hypnotic kneading Of careful paws Twitches a whisker Opens a lazy eye We are content Devoted Familiar and Current Provider of ear-scratches Precious moments spent together Do not last as long As they once did Those rare islands Of near-silence I try to spend Writing. Such a distraction Is sadly unacceptable In company My failure to stroke Soft furry egos While fingers Play over lettered keys And coffee cools At a careless elbow Lead to gentle taps Polite, then more insistent I frown and mutter Trying to shake loose Some old ideas From new forehead creases Transmit them to my dusty screen Before the next Set of demands is issued By the charming pout Of the other House Tyrant Whose three-year-reign Continues to sway The working lives Of all her subjects. It is not enough. I cannot please all Of my many masters Not this day. As gentle snores fade to yawns I sift through the tired Dog-eared card catalogue Housed temporarily for safekeeping Within my rapidly emptying skull Brain cycling faster The vocalisation Begins in earnest Close behind my ear “Miaouw!” He is starting to insist “Pssst! Shush!” It is a futile gesture To try to silence An old friend The search continues There are paws on my shoulder Tapping, prodding A hint of sharpness A gentle shove Hot breath on my neck Can I find a verbal noun, Subclause, or synonym To convey my sense Of panic at the first stirrings Of any sleeping creature Under four feet But still a giant? Too late. “Mummy!” I hiss my discomfort At the sudden perforation Of my thigh. Time’s up once again.