To a Cat
Mirrors are not more silent
nor the creeping dawn more secretive;
in the moonlight, you are that panther
we catch sight of from afar.
By the inexplicable workings of a divine law,
we look for you in vain;
More remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun,
yours is the solitude, yours the secret.
Your haunch allows the lingering
caress of my hand. You have accepted,
since that long forgotten past,
the love of the distrustful hand.
You belong to another time. You are lord
of a place bounded like a dream.
Jorge Luis Borges, 1899-1986
© 1972 Jorge Luis Borges
“A un Gato” from El Oro de los Tigres (translated by Alastair Reid, 1977)
Photo of Jorge Luis Borges and his cat