For years I've fed this feral cat at 4 a.m.,
a crouching mound of fur, Satanic black, with yellow eyes
that never blink. I call him "Doubting Thomas."
I place his can of Fancy Feast five feet or so from him.
He doesn't stir till I go in the house
and douse the porch light.
Then he leaps and cleans the can
and saunters off till 4 a.m. the following morning
when he's back again, eyes ablaze, crouching.
This pact I have with Doubting Thomas
helps me realize how God must feel
eons after the Big Bang.
Some folks, you see, aren't certain God lit that match.
Some believe the Big Bang just happened.
Out of nothing they believe something came to be.
I think the cat I feed at 4 a.m. agrees with them.
I'm sure he'd tell you Fancy Feast always was,
always will be and always will remain the same.
I wonder what that cat will do the day I die
when he arrives at 4 a.m. and finds the can
from yesterday empty where he left it.
There's no mystery as to what he'll do.
He'll find another porch like mine where every morning
without a bang Fancy Feast just happens.
Biography: Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, Commonweal, The Christian Science Monitor as well as a number of online publications.