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Fillet of Sol
(Lee Anny Wynn Snook)
The sun slants in, its light a wedge
Pilling the cat
with leather armor
I like my pillow, my fancy bed,
My cat tree and the bathroom sink.
Each has its time and fills a need,
but a box is best when I want to think.
You get a wife, you get a house,
By two a.m. or thereabouts,
Instead of kitty, says your spouse,
The Fern Eater
(Kay Heikens © Pet Pride)
What am I doing?
No need to introduce the cat;
You've got one lying on your mat.
Ailurophobes, of course, do not.
They'd rather see cats hanged or shot.
The cat detractors can't abide
The creatures overweening pride.
Admirers of the feline praise
His occult, incandescent gaze.
Both sides have merit--and the view
Endorsed by mice is also true.
You've torn the daily paper
In the middle,
He contemplates a butterfly;
watches as it flutters by,
marvels at its painted wing,
glad it's dumb and doesn't sting--
An animate hors d'oeuvre, with flair.
Black Alex likes his rather rare.
We don't know who our daddy was,
Don't know, and we don't care.
But everyone who sees us says
He must have had red hair!
I bought a little kitten
As a present for my wife.
It took less than a minute
To endear itself for life.
Purring, with its tail held high
It trailed her all around.
This tiny, fluffy ball of fur
Climbed and leaped and clowned.
It somersaulted on the rug,
Pounced on every paper scrap,
And when it was all tuckered out,
It curled up on her lap.
Now, since we've got equality,
You'll agree that it was fittin'
That I returned to that same store
And bought myself a kitten.
Tripping over a cat is no small thing.
I resolve to get the day off to a fast start,
Tripping over the cat.
Not tripping over the cat
And tripping ever my own feet
I hear my toes meow.
We go on vacation and board the cat at the vets.
I miss tripping over the cat,
Tripping over a tackle box.
Tripping over a friend's dog I say,
"I'm sorry, there must be some mistake."
My small son tripping over a kitten
Illustrates the rest of his life.
(Gil Stevenson © Pet Pride)
My Poki curls beneath the light
As if she had a perfect right
To settle down there for the night.
She hasn't felt a need to ask
If this is where a cat may bask.
I want to work right where I found her
But I guess I'll have to work around her--
Reasoning doesn't work with her;
I've tried but all she does is purr.
In sixteen years of nights and days,
It seems we've learned each other's ways
Where Poki settles, Poki stays.
Two little kittens, one stormy night,
Began to quarrel, and then to fight;
One had a mouse, the other had none,
And that's the way the quarrel begun.
"I'll have that mouse," said the biggest cat;
"You'll have that mouse? We'll see about that!"
"I will have that mouse," said the eldest son;
You shan't have the mouse," said the little one.
I told you before 'twas a stormy night
When these two little kittens began to fight;
The old woman seized her sweeping broom,
And swept the two kittens right out to the room.
The ground was all covered with frost and snow,
And the two little kittens had nowhere to go;
So they laid them down on the mat at the door,
While the old woman finished sweeping the floor.
Then they crept in, as quiet as mice,
All wet with snow, and cold as ice,
For they found it was better, that stormy night,
To lie down and sleep than to quarrel and fight.
(Sarah F. Greenfield © Pet Pride)
He looked a fierce and quarrelsome cat,
A kitten bounding
Cats sleep fat and walk thin.
Cats, when they sleep, slump;
When they wake, pull in--
And where the plump's been
Cats walk thin.
Cats wait in a lump,
Jump in a streak.
Cats, when they jump, are sleek
As a grape slipping its skin--
They have technique.
Oh, cats don't creak.
Cats sleep fat.
They spread out comfort underneath them
Like a good mat,
As if they picked the place
And then sat.
You walk around one
As if he were the City Hall
A cat is apt to sing on a major scale;
This concert is for everybody, this
For a baton, he wields a tail.
(He is also found,
When happy, to resound
With an inclosed and private sound.)
A cat condenses.
He pulls in his tail to go under bridges,
And himself to go under fences.
In any size box or kit;
And if a large pumpkin grew under one,
He could arch over it.
When everyone else is just ready
To go out,
The cat is just ready to come in.
He's not where he's been.
Cats sleep fat and walk thin.
The trouble with a kitten is
Eventually it becomes a
(Viola Jacobson Berg)
They wait and watch
They are discreet
I put down my book,
The Meaning of Zen,
and see the cat smiling
into her fur
as she delicately combs it
with her rough pink tongue.
"Cat, I would lend you this
book to study
but it appears that you have
already read it."
She looks up and gives me
her full gaze.
"Don't be ridiculous," she purrs.
"I wrote it."
(Edythe G. Tornow)
Merry Hester is out.
She is bird watching.
She is bird watching
She claims she is an undercover
Agent for the Audubon Society.
Her services, she explains,
Are constantly sought
As she is known to be
The best bird spotter
In the country.
If any of this is true,
And I doubt it very much,
It is more likely that I am
Harboring a double agent.
Dear Self-Deceiving Merry Hester.
I am inventing a transparent cat.
When he sits on your newspaper,
Or stands pointedly between you and your book
You can still read,
When he spends the night on your navy wool dress
You can still wear it in the morning.
There are drawbacks
Your breakfast bacon may pick up and vanish.
(Georgie Starbuck Gailbraith)
She crouches, a silent golden sphinx,
And thinks and drowses and yawns and thinks . . .
Of cosmic riddles old as Osiris?
Behold her there like a fur-swatched heiress,
A jewel-eyed hedonist whose mind
Is filled with the thoughts of her occult kind:
Herself and her own desires. In short,
Will I let her stay on the davenport
Or put her out? And dare she try
To capture a goldfish by-and-by?
Veiled and inscrutable, she hunches
And ponders profoundly how soon lunch is.
The trouble with sleeping with cats
is there isn't room left for parts of me
(as the night grows).
I adjust my body in the bed, comfort
an arm or leg in small stretches of belonging,
or feel for a cool
or warm spot for feet
(depending on the time of year);
but when I come back to a place
it isn't there.
has melted and flattened, smoothed into
my bed, all the places I have touched
taken over and he owns it all
Arabelle is a calico kitten . . .
helping Grandmother tend to her knittin'.
Over and over, 'round and around,
in skeins of bright yarn Arabelle's wound.
Grandmother dozes only a minute . . .
Mischief's the word and Arabelle's in it.
Grandmother scolds, unwinds the young cat,
gives her a smack and an emphatic scat!
Arabelle thinks they're having a game.
She sprints 'round the room . . .
(Grandmother is lame).
Seek-and-find, tag and touch-me-not,
she hides in the fern, upsets the pot.
The game is over before it begins.
Arabelle loses and Grandmother wins!
Arabelle, banished, in innocence sleeps
Grandmother sighs: " Isn't she sweet!"
On Catching Mice
Take, for instance, that impression,
There is really nothing to it--
Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I've been to London to look at the queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under a chair.
(John D. Engle, Jr.)
My cat violates a vital code
when she sleeps on the lid of my commode.
It is all right for her to choose it--
except, of course, when I have to use it.
It seems to me a cat should know
when you gotta go, you gotta go.
I'm sure she also would be bitter
if I slept in her box of litter.
(J. Luke Migliacci)
It wasn't very long ago,
He made his position very clear
"You'll be in charge of discipline,
She's mine to care for and to feed;
He loves "my cat" and it's plain to see
I suppose I could remind him that
Oh, what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you, homeless to my gate?
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth and food.
For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny.
While he, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house, The Law.
He scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed.
He ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day he died.
So if you really think, oh cat,
I'd willingly relive all that
Because you come, forlorn and thin
Well . . . don't just stand there . . . come on in!
You'd better stay down, you'd better not climb
I've taken you down for the very last time
Santa Paws is coming to town.
He's making a list and checking it twice . . .
Deciding which cats deserve some toy mice
Santa PAWS is coming . . . to town.
He's sees where you've been sleeping
He sees what you've knocked down
He knows what you have shredded
Do you WANT to go back to the pound?
'Twas the night after Christmas, the time to replay
The events of that most hectic annual day.
The stockings, once hung by the chimney with care,
Were chewed on and drooled on and torn past repair.
No one was nestled all snug in his bed;
There was spilt milk and Friskies to clean up instead.
And me in my 'kerchief, and Dad in his cap,
Wished we'd settled down for a much-needed nap,
When somewhere downstairs there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chores to see what was the matter.
Away down the steps I flew like a flash,
Just as I heard one more thunderous crash.
The moon wasn't out, so I switched on the light,
Still hoping to see everything was all right,
When, what for my wondering eyes was in store,
But my family-room curtains a-heap on the floor.
I re-hung the drapes, but to end all this "fun,"
I knew in a moment more work must be done.
More rapid than eagles I rushed all around,
To make certain everything was safe and sound.
Out, tinsel! Out, ribbons! Out bright-colored bow!
Out, garland! Out, ivy! Out, all mistletoe!
From the poinsettia plant, to the yarn in the hall,
It's throw away! Throw away! Throw away all!
Next I turned my attention to the Christmas tree,
Making sure it was totally temptation-free.
I moved ornaments up, for three feet or so,
And no strand of lights was left dangling low.
When then, in a twinkling, I heard soft and sweet,
The prancing and pawing of four little feet.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
By the chimney this character came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And was covered all over with ashes and soot;
The ears stood straight up on this bold little elf,
And he looked overwhelmingly pleased with himself.
His eyes--how they twinkled! He purred like a glutton!
His tongue, pink and raspy; his nose, like a button!
His droll little tail was drawn up like a bow,
And those whiskers of his looked like yesterday's snow.
I had not a doubt that this bundle of gray
Was the cause of the chaos at our house today.
How proudly he strolled, with what grace and what style,
As he tracked soot and ashes all over the tile.
He was chubby and plump and out to impress,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of the mess.
I scooped up the imp, and I patted his head,
But he seemed to sense he had something to dread;
I spoke not a word, but went straight for the sink,
Where I washed him and dried him, as quick as a wink.
Then he darted away and stopped on a stair,
And giving a nod, he fell sound asleep there.
He dreamt and he kneaded and purred; all the while
I regarded him with half-frown and half-smile.
And you'd hear me exclaim, as I cleaned up our flat,
"I'll remember the Christmas that we got a cat."
Oh, what a grand and glorious thing it is to be a cat!
Yes, every day I live, I grow more positive of that.
For all the great, big busy world, as is quite right and meet,
comes humbly every day to lay its tribute at my feet;
Far down within the damp, dark earth the grimy miner goes,
That I on chilly nights may have a fire for my toes;
Brave sailors plow the wintry main, through peril and mishap,
That I, on Oriental rugs, may take my morning nap.
Out in the distant meadow meekly graze the lowing kine,
That milk, in endless saucerfuls, all foaming, may be mine;
The fish that swim the ocean, and the birds that fill the air--
Did I not like their bones to pick, pray, think you they'd be there?
But first, of all who wait on me, preeminent is man;
For me he toils through all the day, and through the night does plan;
Especially the gentleman who keeps this house for me,
And takes such thoughtful, anxious care, that I should suited be.
He's stocked his rare old attic with the finest breed of mice,
A little hunting, now and then, comes in so very nice.
And furthermore, the thoughtful man, a wife has married him,
To tidy up the house for me, and keep it neat and trim;
And both of them with deference my slightest fancy treat,
And as I'm quite fastidious about the things I eat,
They never offer me a dish, to please my appetite,
Until they've tasted it themselves, it see if all is right;
And to entice my palate, when it's cloyed with other things,
All fattening in a gilded cage, a choice canary swings.
But best of all they're bringing up, with pain that can't be told,
Their children just to wait on my, when they have grown too old.
Oh, truly I am monarchess of all that I survey;
No rules or laws I recognize, no bells or calls obey.
I eat and sleep, and sleep and eat, nor ever have I toiled;
No kind of base, degrading work my paws has ever soiled.
Oh, truly 'tis a gladsome thing to be a pussy-cat!
I'm truly glad, when I was born, I stopped to think of that.
There was a spry woman
There were cats where she ate
At night she tucked each
The ripped through the screens
They made a great racket
When the night was over,
They were quiet and docile
The neighbors were furious,
When they came to complain,
They blinked and stretched