Category Archives: cats

4 A.M.

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4 A.M.

The old cat yowls a caustic moan—a banshee’s rough lament.
It rips my slumber wide apart. My gentle dream is rent.
A night comprised of eight-hours sleep would now seem heaven-sent.
My friends urge euthanasia, but I’m of another bent.

I toast the bread and spread the jam. I let my coffee vent,
then take a sip and watch the cat sip oil but not dent
the surface of the tiny can of shrimp and cod I’ve bent
to plop into my grandma’s dish that was never meant
to house a meal for animals—that family heirloom leant
power by its years of use—everywhere it went.

No human family member can know the full extent
of what this antiquated vessel means in its descent.
It is a loving blessing. A secret grand event—

a little ceremony to honor her ascent
to wherever old cats go when it’s time to absent
themselves from an easy life that’s turned into torment.

Why can I not cut loose the cord? I am a dissident
regarding being left once more. Those other loves that went
more silent into that good night, finally content,
somehow have not prepared me for this coming event.
I cannot be the agent hastening her demise.
The cat and I return to bed to close our stubborn eyes.

 

Prompt words for today are comprise, tout, lament, antiquated and bread.

 

Rude Awakening: Morning Ritual

 

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“The duende, then, is a power, not a work. It is a struggle, not a thought. I have heard an old maestro of the guitar say, ‘The duende is not in the throat; the duende climbs up inside you, from the soles of the feet.’ Meaning this: it is not a question of ability, but of true, living style, of blood, of the most ancient culture, of spontaneous creation … everything that has black sounds in it, has duende.”

Rude Awakening: Morning Ritual

The duende of the old cat’s wail jars me from a dream.
Her volume grows with every piercing, throaty, grating scream.
And though it seems her hunger cannot wait for light,
when I spoon out her victuals, she does not take a bite.

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I rub her ears and skull and chin now that I’m awake
as the first muted rays of light soak into the lake.
The dogs detect my movement and paw their haven’s door,
scraping their metal dishes across the tile floor.

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Outside the far-off kitchen, the young cats voice their wail,
calling me too early to my day’s travail.

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Reluctantly I slog out to fulfill their rude request,
as the old cat circles and sinks to her warm nest.

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Since her breakfast, still untouched, sits crusting in her bowl,
it seems that desayuno never was her goal.
She’s merely been the chanticleer who has done her best
to arouse the world before returning to her rest.

Prompt words today are victualsduende, volume, awake.

Broken Dreams

 

Annie at 17 years old.

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. 

Broken Dreams

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.

 

Annie at one month, in my headphone case.

Prompt words today are psychedelic, doused, annoy and day.

Overpacking

 

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Overpacking

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 prompt today 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.

 

Winner of “Cat in the Window” and new Cat Prompt

A cat in confinement (of her own choice, of course.)

Remember my “Cat in the Window” prompt? I pledged to have a drawing of all participants at the end of May and send a contribution equal to the number of participants to the charity of the winner’s choice.  This is April 30 and I just did the drawing  and sent this message off to Tammy at Tammy’s Reading Life

Hi Tammy. You, along with 31 other bloggers or Facebook friends, entered a photo for the “Cat in the Window” prompt on my blog. I had promised to have a drawing and to contribute an amount equal to the number of participants to the winner’s favorite charity. Congratulations, you are the winner!! if you tell me the name of your favorite charity, I will send them $31. It needs to be a charity I can pay via Paypal as I live in Mexico and a check would take 4 months to get there, if I could even find my checkbook.Thanks for playing along. Just today I published a post, “Cats in Confinement.” If you have a fun photo on this topic to post, just link it to my post in comments. Hope to hear from you soon. Judy

Thanks to everyone who sent or published photos of cats in windows.  Just today I published three pictures of cats in confinement. Want to play along? Post a photo of a cat in confinement and send a link to this site:

https://judydykstrabrown.com/2019/04/30/cats-in-confinement/