Today I read a story about a man who led big game hunting expeditions whose claim was that he could guarantee a kill with one hundred percent surety. Ironically enough, after shooting a water buffalo and posing with his kill, he was fatally gored by another water buffalo. This was perhaps on my mind as I wrote this poem on the subject of extinction for the quadrille challenge. Please note that I am not in favor of big game hunting. In the last lines, I’m talking about luck in a general sense, not in terms of big game hunting. I took this photo in Kenya in 1967.
If we all were always winners, winning would lose distinction. Every hunter bagging game would lead to their extinction. So to qualify my wishes, I guess that I’ll just say I hope when it’s your turn for luck, that it will come your way!
My seventeen year old cat, Annie, has for the past two years been awakening me at various early-morning hours to be fed. It makes no difference if I feed her at midnight or 2 am or whenever I choose to turn in for the night. At 4 or 5 or 6, her piercing yowls shock me awake and there is nothing to be done other than to get up to flop an entire can of Fancy Feast into her feeding bowl. She’s taken over my bathroom with her food and water dishes, her litter tray and her bed, so for two years I’ve showered in the guest shower. This old girl rules my world. Today’s five o’clock awakening gave rise to this poem.
I doused my dream to greet the day, but to my great annoyance. reality, alas, cannot compete with its flamboyance. The dream was psychedelic and meandering in its plot. It had all the excitement that my waking life has not.
Before the day resumes its hold, since night is not yet done, I’ll return to my pillow and awaken to the sun. The old cat’s fed, the dogs still sleep and so, with luck, shall I. Perhaps I’ll find that dream again. At least, I’m going to try.
Where is it that a cat belongs? She’ll be the judge of that. Wherever I am going, I am sure to need a cat. She’ll help me with my packing and be my memory so I don’t forget to take her when I set out to sea.
She can’t see how her company could go against my wishes. A cat goes well with boats and anywhere where there are fishes. Each morning she repacks herself and each night in the dark she asks herself once more just when we’ll finally embark.
After a week of packing, my case is finally full. I shut the lid, secure the lock, pick up the strap and pull. I’m off to catch the red eye that will fly me off to Rome to catch the boat that for one week will make do as my home.
I have packed so carefully, checking off my list that I’m sure there’s nothing that I could have missed. But I know that Annie, sleeping curled up on her mat, when she wakes up and finds me gone, will not agree with that.
In spite of her best efforts, alas, she’s left behind. It seems that human planning isn’t always kind to cats who have spun fantasies of travel and romance. Did human plans concur with hers? Poor Annie. Not a chance.
It’s a wonderful coincidence that the dVerse Poets prompttoday is “Felines,” since just this morning I found this photo taken three weeks ago as I packed for my Mediterranean cruise with my sister. I meant to publish it back then but forgot and was wondering when it would be appropriate to use it as an illustration. I didn’t have to wait long to find out.
My dogs aren’t highfalutin. Don’t compete by size and weight. All that classy dog shows preach, they repudiate. Diego never notices where a thrown stick lands, and neither one’s consistent in following commands.
On stormy days, Morrie’s been known not to chance the rain to go about his business in the usual terrain. They’re murderers of possums. This is no fresh news. And when six pork chops vanished, I followed all the clues
down to where the evidence lay “hidden” in the yard. How did six chop bones get there? It wasn’t very hard to figure out the mystery. Diego was the thief tall enough to bring about my dinner party grief,
swiping all the main course directly from the pan. When his master’s back is turned, a dog does what he can. But at least they are consistent in appearing for their meals. No dog can only live on the comestibles he steals.
For more frisky business, go HEREor HERE or HERE or HERE! Or HERE, HEREor HERE or HERE! The entire story of the purloined pork chops is HERE, and, if you want it all in a nutshell, THIS ONE pretty much wraps up the whole story of my misbehaving dogs.
Prompt words today arehighfalutin, repudiate, consistentand, since none of my other prompt sites has posted a prompt yet and since August 26 is National Dog Day, I’m declaring my fourth prompt word to be dog!! If you see this and want to play along, just post a link to a photo or poem or anecdote about your dog to this site.
A fleeting shadow on the wall, what do you make of that? Another and another joins this swirling mass of bat. Fortuitous destruction, they swarm across the lake. What an impressive undulating constant stream they make. They go to eat mosquitos in the farther fields they roam, leaving only guano here closer to their home. The wellbeing they foster, I fear is far afield. Here at home there’s not a single benefit they yield. They sleep by day then hurry off on nightly winged weavings, leaving me, with broom and scrub brush, dealing with their leavings.
One ungainly orphan elephant, wandering and uncertain of where his journey’s leading him, comes upon a curtain of mist that rises from the plain, shimmering, evanescent. The stars now muted overhead, the moon a fuzzy crescent. He splits the curtain, comes upon a lone and lost impala split off from the herd during some wild stampeding gala. They form a duo and plod on, each looking for a herd. Such an unlikely couple. Impossibly absurd. And yet they struck a certain chord, each one with the other. She was the sister that he lacked, and he her missing brother. One thing led to another. She fit him like a glove, and before they knew it, the two were fast in love. When the baby came, it looked a bit like a nyala, a bit like a rhinoceros––an elephantiala!!