Cats in Poetry
We kittens cannot see
the reason why
this should be.
A chocolate cat
And gift wrapped too?
How are we supposed to know
What you, man, want us
It seems pretty silly to us
To make such a fuss
Ribbons and bows and hairdryers too
And boxes and boxes and boxes
We just want a little respect
And not white flashes and chocolate drops
We do not think that
we are kit kats
So why do you?
O Mistress of the house
What thoughts dwell behind
Your golden amber eyes?
And what dread notion lurks that
bids you stalk the unwary bird,
And scatter carelessly the bright feathers?
You walk on velvet slippers,
Potent claws sheathed in padding paws
ready to flash
As dark rimmed eyes speak a warning.
Sleek plush coat silver touched.
Dark tail arcs gracefully
around your warm body
Head cushioned on outstretched leg.
Your tall feathered ears
Alert even in sleep,
Gentle wise face, fine white whiskers,
sharp black nose, smooth pink tongue
And white tipped chin.
Your purr ripples music
as I stroke your knitted forehead
Cautious little cat
Sleep on in your unknown, mysterious dreams.
I wrote the above poem in honour of a little cat that I grew up with, by the river. She came from the river-side, a wild cat that tamed me to respect and appreciate animals. At first she was called Melinda by the sister whom found her, then we kids called her Minnie Down-stairs Cat and then Minnie Upstairs Cat when she became trusting enough to come up to the 2nd storey to see us. Minnie was a British Blue short-hair mix, and I don’t have any photos of her unfortunately, but she will always live in my heart. She had the tiniest bit of white on her chest though and she and I loved each other. Minnie cat would even try to follow me to the Shops but I would turn and shout at her, “go home Minnie”. This poem explains how I saw her. Rest in peace, Minnie !
I wrote “Kit Kat” too, but not the next poem, a beautifully spoken poem with some mysterious ideas/images.
Cats No Less Liquid Than Their Shadows
Cats no less liquid than their shadows Offer no angles to the wind. They slip, diminished, neat through loopholes Less than themselves; will not be pinned To rules or routes for journeys; counter Attack with non-resistance; twist Enticing through the curving fingers And leave an angered empty fist. They wait obsequious as darkness Quick to retire, quick to return; Admit no aim or ethics; flatter With reservations; will not learn To answer to their names; are seldom Truly owned till shot or skinned. Cats no less liquid than their shadows Offer no angles to the wind.
Written in 1934
by A rthur Seymour John Tessimond. [1902 – 1962]