Category Archives: cats

Fatal Wonder

Fatal Wonder

Where’s that naughty kitty been?
Even though it’s nearly ten,
she’s not had a single nibble
of the tuna and the kibble
that I put outside the door
long ago—two hours or more.
If dead from curiosity,
she’s passed her illness onto me!  

For dverse Poets Quadrille Challenge: Curious

Bobcat

Bobcat

You stroll across the road in front of us
as though you do not notice us.
Astonished, we capitulate our right of way
and sit in the car, digesting our wonder
at your incursion into this tame neighborhood
spread like a blanket
over the wildness of the desert.

It is no wonder
that life in this place
seems to be laden
with occasional visits
of rattlesnakes and bobcats
such as yourself,
but it is by chance that,
like a brief vacation from our own banality,

we bear witness to your incursion.

Even given your languid stroll,
I cannot move quickly enough to record it,
but providence provides,
and minutes after we pull into the garage and come inside,
an email arrives from the neighbor
that records your incursion
into his backyard.

He stalked you with his camera,
and we with our eyes
as you strolled serenely
in between your own stalkings.

Oh, bobcat,
beautiful element

of that wild nature that surrounds
and enriches us
and which, in spite of
evidence to the contrary,
we are a part of—

If I were religious,
these words
of your sighting
would be my prayer.

Prompts today are chance, capitulate, digest, lade and astonished. Photo by Paul Brown. Thanks, Paul, for capturing what I could only try to capture in words. Photo taken on Friday afternoon, April 16, 2021. Location: Trilogy at Vistancia, Peoria, Arizona.

New Intruder

This is a piece i wrote 19 years ago that I found when I was sorting through old files. A few months after Lulu’s arrival, Annie decided to join us as well, and although both of the kittens   have now joined Bear in that great scratching post in the sky, I enjoyed reading this story after so many years, so perhaps you will, too.

Click on photos to enlarge and read captions.

New Intruder

My closet rattles. One door is slightly ajar. Something is being batted about on the floor inside. A paw is visible now and then when it comes close to the bottom edge of the door. Once a nose with white whiskers peeks out, then shoots back in like a jack-in-the-box.

My tiny new kitten was a street waif. She arrived complete with sticky streaks on her underside and chin. She arrived with fleas and one sore eye–– the green one. The other eye is blue. There is a perfect fish outlined in white on a charcoal colored patch on her back. Her very long ears are a pale peach color and her head is big on an extremely thin body. Already after 4 days, she is starting to acquire a small pot belly from regular meals. The vet says she is four weeks old, but her body is so tiny and weightless that she seems more like a large mouse than a cat. I fear stepping on her and in fact have, but when I did, she made not a peep and her bones seemed to spring back like a sponge.

Her long eye whiskers were singed back almost to hair level in an unfortunate encounter with the gas burners on my stove. She is so fast that she leaped up on the counter before I could stop her. In similar fashion, she had walked across the bubble wrap jacuzzi cover that floated on the top of the water, so light that she made it from one side to the other without sinking. Another time, she leaped from the back of a chair to the top of the high metal display case, where her claws made little ingress into the metal and where for a few seconds she clung from the edge like a mountain climber before falling to the tile floor five feet below. Five minutes later, her head peeked up from the opening at the top of the lampshade of the lamp on the telephone table. This house is her new world, and she is the Magellan of cats.

Two weeks before, I had found Bear, my cat of 15 years, floating lifeless in my pool. It was horrible. I had seen the cat born and his burial seemed a reversal of the birth process. We buried him in the garden wrapped in his favorite silk sari from the end of my bed, and with the mouse-shaped doorstop he loved to bat around the house. I buried with him my intention not to have any more pets for a while. None could replace him.

Then, two weeks later, a mouse had streaked across the street in front of me and entered the store I was about to enter. Upon closer examination, the streak had been a tiny kitten that had leaped into a huge display basket of scarves, and it hadn’t taken too much encouragement by the shop owner to get me to promise to stop back by before we left that night to see if the kitten had been claimed by an owner or adopted by someone more determined to have a cat than I was.

Every animal I’d ever had in my life had come to me by accident or by its own volition, so when this placeless cat appeared, I had by habit accepted the karma and now she sleeps each night on my chest or on the pillow by my right ear. I am slightly allergic to her, and although she doesn’t flinch when I cough and sneeze, when I get up for a drink of water, she miaows. This word perfectly describes the sound she makes. She is loud. The sound of her echoes through my high-ceilinged brick and stucco house. “ Miaow, miaow, miaow, miaow,” but somehow it seems to belong here––to fill out the silence that might otherwise only be filled by the sounds of the television or the computer or the stereo––sounds that do not breathe or jump up to the arm of my chair or respond to a reassuring pat or the sound of the can opener. With the appearance of this newest little intruder, once again, my house has become a home.

With Workmen Here

IMG_6910

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

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.