Category Archives: cats

With Workmen Here

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With Workmen Here

The cats have flown, I know not where.
They’ve chosen to remain aloof.
They don’t await me on the stair.
The cats have flown, I know not where.
Not one to steal my favorite chair.
I do not hear them on the roof.
The cats have flown, I know not where.
They’ve chosen to remain aloof.

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a triolet. A triolet is an eight-line poem. All the lines are in iambic tetrameter (for a total of eight syllables per line), and the first, fourth, and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines. This means that the poem begins and ends with the same couplet. Beyond this, there is a tight rhyme scheme (helped along by the repetition of lines) ABaAabAB.

 

 

Cat Meditation

(Click on first photo and then on arrows to enlarge photos.)

Cat Meditation

Entwined in my jacket, spread out on my quilt,
my cats take up the space they frequent with so little guilt.
I wonder what they visualize in their cache of dreams?
Is their sleep as peaceful as it always seems?

The dogs may twitch and bark and reach out paws in times of rest,
but cat sleep is so tranquil. They “do” their sleep the best.
They need no permission to tuck their chores away

and wander inward to their dreams, be it night or day.

Oh that I could rest away from all the world’s mad clatter. 
The dreams they dream upon your lap are helpful in the latter—
their purr the loveliest mantra to help your mind unfurl
as you become their mattress, pinned beneath their curl.

Words for the day are purr, visualize, helpful, cache and jacket.

Extended Family

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Extended Family

My furry raider sloshed through rain
out to the barn and back again,
but next trip was a passenger
his human cuddled close to her
so both could view the transient
new mother so intently bent
over her bounty, newly born
this blustery, rainy, wind-swept morn.

One more thing born that rainy day
around three homeless ones that lay
snuggled down within the hay
protected from the weather’s fray—
a sense of family between
an old male cat, once feral, mean—
who had been taken in himself
and these three waifs, curled on a shelf
within that barn where I’d found him.
Now both of us discovered them
and that day welcomed them, all three
to our extended family.

Prompt words today are raiderslosh, transient, bounty, and passenger.

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.