One thing the shopkeeper told me: an outdoor cat survives one to four years in the mountains of Colorado.
I believed him, having lost Rufus last year to the fox trotting through the park, or the pair of coyotes casing my yard early one morning, or a pack of raccoons. My neighbor cleaned up his guts before she knew what they were. My husband and I took the bloody gravel and buried it with the disco green collar Rufus had lost in the yard.
Now I content myself with the neighbor’s cat who spends his days here and his nights elsewhere.
When I see him through my door on these winter evenings, I think of his front claws that Rufus lacked, the fences he could climb. I hope, when I don’t let him in, he returns to his owners and paws at their door.
Drifts so hard, I leave
no prints on the snow beneath
the bird feeders.