Thursday, April 28, 2011


Serena sleeps at the foot of my bed. She lies on her side somewhat like a capsized ocean liner, her pudgy paws are stretched out in front of her. In her dreams, she is a panther. Her adventures seem to take her far from home. She runs and runs through the jungle, her little paws moving back and forth on the bedspread. She talks excitedly although I am not sure who she is speaking to. Her tiny heart races. The moon reflects on her glossy black coat.

Some nights I wonder if I should wake her, as if the pack of lions chasing her are too close or if the vine she was swinging on suddenly snapped or maybe the giant wooly mammoth she was pursuing almost stepped on her. Or perhaps she was uncertain which of the goblets before her was the Holy Grail. Some nights she seems to cry out. I worry that there is sometimes a fine line between an adventure film and a horror flick? Who gets script approval? Do cats have nightmares?

Am I in the dream? Does she pull me off the railroad track right before the 5:18 from Phoenix comes roaring by? Or am I the superhero that swoops down and rescues her just in the nick of time? Is there some kind of a role reversal going on? Some mornings she wakes up and looks at me, and I feel a tinge of disappointment in her eyes when she realizes that she has not yet grown large enough to eat me. Maybe tomorrow, she almost seems to say to herself.

I wonder where her nocturnal adventures have taken her, and marvel at how they always manage to bring her home just before morning. The sun rises and shines on the glossy black coat of the little ten pound cat, lying on her side at the foot of my bed. In her dreams, she is a panther.