Wait to begin until all three are
in the kitchen,
tails up. Pick up the triangle of bowls and
place them on the counter as though
they were one single unit.
Attempt to tear open the packet
and fail — even though the tabs at the top
would suggest otherwise. Instead,
first try cutting
it open with a knife.
It won’t work.
Only then will it be permissible to reach in the drawer
for the scissors.
The scissors will be old and
won’t easily cut.
Find the sweet spot,
that small area where the blades
still come together as sharply as they did
when they were new, and cut off
the top of the faux aluminum pouch.
Squeeze just enough
into each bowl so that it
divides up perfectly in thirds.
Say, “Here you are, ladies” and
set the little troika back on the floor.
All mewing will abruptly
stop as they eat, and
in the silence that follows,
listen for the quiet slap-slap of their tongues as
they hit the glass.
Only then may is it possible to
walk away. Ritual completed.