I Am Puss in Boots


Brian Aragon

What an honor that he’s so much like his mother and to sound like thunder when he speaks.

However. He cries in his sleep because he has these terrifying dreams.

I know one truth. He is dying to be me, his father, with the voice of thunder.

He must not know that I am Puss In Boots.

“Father, may you please unfold my boots?”

“Yes, son.”

I try to hide my bright, sharp, vibranium katanas when I pull his lightweight, black leather, shiny boots from the top shelf.

Look how well my son stayed put, watching. He finally learned patience… already better than I ever did.

But still he must not know that I am Puss in Boots.

“Why do we wear boots, Father?”

“It’s a tradition in Italy.”

“We don’t live in Italy. We live in El Salvador.”

My son smiled and chuckled. That is what his mother used to do. I can still hear her warning me from my memories of her: “Garfield, one day Excalibur will find out.”

No, he must not know that I am Puss in Boots.

The Puss in Boots who slaughtered the witches.  The Puss in Boots who avoids dogs and makes sure they sleep outside under the logs.

I evolved to be something raw, a man my son won’t understand. He won’t understand why I burned villages full of riches.

I don’t want to be in a position to beg for his forgiveness.

Once upon a time now, it was in my reach to bid farewell to my fairytale as it flew past me without its tail. Still, he must not know that I am Puss in Boots.

And in the silence, I can hear him dragging something sharp along the tile way. I hear him slowly opening the door, and I, shaking in fear, saw my son with my two katanas and a Wanted Poster from  Italy, my picture soft, faded, and still clear.

My son whispered, a clear stuttering whisper, “F-f-father…. am I g-going to be…. evil…….. like you?”

I’m the notorious Italian cat.