Tag Archives: cats

Morning Ritual

Morning Ritual

Boy cat awakes at six o’clock
to begin his morning walk
across my former sleeping self,
then jumps down from my bedside shelf

to continue his aggressive sass.
Wrestles the rug, then bats the brass
light cord, yowls and kneads the sheet
until I rise. Admit defeat.


He leads me to the kitchen door.
I let him out , but do no more.
I don’t renew his empty dish.
No new beef and no new fish
adorn its naked metal sheen.
It’s six o’clock! I’m feeling mean.

Back to bed until at eight
the dogs begin their loud debate.
The girl cat’s where the boy cat’s been,
taunting them from here within.

She jumps up on the headboard table,
disconnects my laptop cable,


turns off its screen and then what’s more,
knocks the lampshade to the floor.

Jumps down and then attacks the rug—
A slide-attack, a pull, a tug—
until once more it’s hillocked, rumpled.
twisted, skewed, distressed and crumpled.

Now the dogs both go ballistic
and I, alas, become realistic.

Thrust myself up from my bed,
and after both the dogs are fed,
I give in to the cats’ loud din—
one cat out and one cat in.

One says good-bye, one says hello. One seeks to come, the other go!

When I shop, I buy the flavor I know their highnesses most favor.

Walk barefoot over the cold floor,
open up the outside door,
and, stepping out to feed the cats,
I open up the cupboard that’s
located by the kitchen door,
to grab the cat food can, but then
as one cat exits, one rushes in!

I spoon the goop into one dish
to tail-swaying and whisker swish.
Pour kibble in another one,
step back inside and watch the fun.

Seeking nutritional renewal, they fall upon their kitty gruel

Sharing a dish, cats bob and sway
in graceful pas de deux display.
Alternating, dish-to-dish
from wet to dry, whate’er their wish.

And finally, the herd all fed,
exhausted, I go back to bed!

Prompt words for today are goodbye/hello, brass, renewal and favor.

Pile of Kittens

I just can’t resist adding a pile of kittens to balance the adorable video of the pile of puppies I just posted. Here they are, Kukla, Fran, Ollie and Roo, days after they all climbed up the bougainvillea vine and over the wall, into my heart. I came into the guest bathroom that they had claimed as their own and found them all piled up on the lid of the kitty litter pail.  What’s a mom to do other than grabbing a camera?

Cats Trump Dogs: Oct 14, 2020

Click on photos to enlarge.

Cats Trump Dogs

My dogs are perspicacious with insights most profound.
They’re aware of every flutter, on top of every sound.
Their vigilance professional, with duty it is fraught.
Nary a squirrel has crossed the yard without being caught!

No passerby is overlooked, no lizard, snake or newt.
Their senses are omniscient, their judgments most astute.
They keep my backyard creature-free, pristine for lawn and blossom.
They will not suffer gopher or mole or vole or possum.

Guard duty’s not a hobby. They see it as a task
that they were truly born for. I need not even ask.
The cats they see as horrors—wily and uncouth.
They cannot bear their presence. They see it as the truth

that cats are unorthodox. Not banished to the ground,
they roam the roof and wall and trees, rambling all around.
They tease the dogs from far above, safe from all their fury.
Sauntering off slowly, for they aren’t in any hurry.

Prompt words for the day are professional, unorthodox, hobby, perspicacious, truth and horror.

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.

When Your Door Falls Off During the Rainy Season!!

What do you do when you open the back door and the whole heavy glass door falls in as you pull on the knob? First you call Pasiano who works for an hour and can’t get it reinstalled. So he props it against the outside storage cupboard–possibly the worst place to put it if you in fact require access to anything stored in the closet , but at least it is sort of protected from the inevitable rain. Then you call every aluminum place in three towns and either they don’t answer or they are crazy busy. Can anyone come today? No. Tomorrow? Probably not. Will they call you when they can come? Yes.

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Click on photos to enlarge and read the captions.