I, Kukla, testify that the tale you are about to hear, narrated by me and transcribed by my mom, is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me, tuna.
(But first, a few words from Judy.) After reading an account of Murdo Girl’s trip to my old stomping grounds in South Dakota narrated by one of her dogs, I harangued her to let her cat narrate a tale as well. Voicing some objections to this, being that her cat can be a contrary soul, she finally assented and her cat told an interesting story showing none of that contrary nature suggested by her mom, who is prone to exaggeration, I must say. Since then, she has been similarly haranguing me to allow one of my kittens to tell a tale. So, fresh from a nap, I went in and grabbed Kukla from the pile and let her narrate to me this true story of what happened the night of my film night. I will stay out of it except to warn you against inviting even writing friends over to see the film about Emily Dickinson entitled “A Quiet Passion.” Much as I like her poetry, this film was a depressing YAWN!!! Kukla’s tale, I hope, has more energy. Okay, here it is, straight from the cat’s maw:
As I was wrestling with another,
our two-footed human mother
came to take my brother outside
to the sala where her friends reside
to sit there, bored and subtly snoring
as they watched a film as boring
to humans as it was to cats.
Edgy and restless, I guess that’s
why he jumped down from her chair
and scooted himself out of there.
The next act of the status quo
occurred as they prepared to go.
She thought she’d put him back inside
the guest bedroom where we reside
and certainly this may be so.
We were all sleeping, so didn’t know.
But shortly after their departing
(with much stopping and restarting)
after she had shut the gate
and come inside to cogitate
on the film “A Quiet Passion,”
regretting it, as was her fashion,
there came a huge great caterwauling––
yowling, quieting, rising, falling––
in the front yard. Some creature bitten?
Could it be an escaped kitten?
We heard her open wide the door
and give a certain panicked roar
as was her wont—a silly ditty
comprised of “Kitty, kitty, kitty?”
And what she later then related,
as soon as her query abated,
a cat like us, but bigger, tore
out from the shadows and past the door.
It must have been our feline mother
for why would it have been another?
Who abandoned us here months ago
and went where errant mom cats go
once that they have vamanoosed
from the kittens they’ve produced.
She streaked across to disappear
into the shadows that were near,
two-legged mother most surprised
for she had always just surmised
our mother was the big white cat
who had appeared months before that
fine day when we climbed up her wall––
so small to climb a vine that tall.
But this cat I have heard her say––
the one that came just yesterday––
Looked exactly like we four
as she streaked quickly by the door.
And when two-legged mother started
to close the door, one more full-hearted
yowling pealed out from the left.
It was Ollie, lost and bereft.
Somehow he’d made his way outside
and chosen just to cower and hide
until four-footed mother appeared
to warn that other mother who’s reared
us all from little lumps of fur––
who nourishes and makes us purr.
Could it be that that first mother of all––
who nursed us all when we were small––
has been watching as we grew?
Watching all we say and do?
Being sure the one she chose
deals with all our needs and woes?
Two-footed mother will never know
that it is true that it is so.
We have two mothers watching us––
enjoying all our leaps and fuss.
And in the absence of a padre,
they have conspired to co-madre.
I, Ollie, testify as to the veracity of Kukla’s relation of this tale. It was a harrowing night out there in the wilds. I was too agitated to tell the tale myself.
Writing is exhausting so I had a little nap as mom polished the tale, dotting all the i’s, closing all the parentheses, spellchecking the caterwauls.